The Old Testament is full of stories of forgetting and its consequences. Time and time again, the Israelites would forget God and all the things He had done for them. Theirs was a cycle of suffering-repentance-rescue-forgetting-sinfulness-suffering.
As a young Christian, I would find myself time and again growing frustrated with them whenever I read their stories. They were so self-centered and disrespectful. How in the world did God not simply get fed up and destroy them all!? Thankfully the Bible isn’t a story of worldly justice, but a window into God’s amazing grace.
Now that I have walked with Him much longer, my reaction is somewhat different when I read these same stories in the Pentateuch. While I may still find myself irritated with them, I can also see myself reflected there. How many times have I myself forgotten? It makes me grateful that God is as faithful to me today as He was to them. He is true to the Covenant even when I’m not.
If we’re honest, none of us are much different than the Israelites that God rescued from Egypt. We, too, get caught up in life and allow the momentary circumstances we’re in to dictate our thoughts and behaviors. With our eyes on this world we forget about all that God has done for us and fail to wait on His direction.
When we forget how faithful He has been, we worry about the future, we worry about today. When we forget how much He loves us and all the ways He’s shown us that love, we doubt His goodness and stress over our needs. When we forget the many prayers He’s already answered, we think and act as if it all depends on us. And when we forget about His sacrifice for us on the cross, we put ourselves first and live by our desires.
Our forgetting doesn’t always result in sin, but it does always block us from the true inner peace that only comes when we stay close by His side. So, in case you find yourself in a time of forgetting today, I’m sharing a simple prayer I pray when I find myself there. May it help you remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God.
Be bless my friend,
Help me to remember all the mercy and grace You have given me. When I start to worry, remind me of Your faithfulness. When I start to rely on my works, remind me of Your strength. And when I start to go my own way, turn my eyes to the cross. Never let me forget the bondage of sin that Your loving sacrifice freed me from. I believe in Your goodness, I believe in Your truth, and I believe in Your word. When I doubt, help my unbelief.
In Jesus’ holy name I pray.