Today’s forget-Me-not is drawn from the days of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land. But first, make sure you recall God’s memorial-name and its importance as a first step to our journey (see Who Am I?). Consider it as having taken hold of your walking stick—a most treasured friend to the traveler.
Wasn’t it the staff that God used to convey His presence and power through Moses? That staff served as an ever-present reminder to Moses that God was with him. It must have brought Moses comfort and strength at times, especially when God was directing him to execute His radical mission at a time when everyone had long forgotten the miraculous deeds and faithfulness that God had shown to their forefathers. Nevertheless, that history was true and extremely relevant to what God was trying to establish in their present lives.
Navigating the Journey with History’s Compass
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages, which were before us. (Eccl. 1:9-10)
Solomon’s words provide valuable guidance for our journey. They lend a clue to how history serves us, like a compass navigating our way in the present.
We’re looking at a journey of significant historical importance. It’s definitely a journey worth remembering. It is precisely where my personal journey (see Journey Worth Remembering, Part 1) began, where I started drawing notable parallels between the past and the present.
The place is Egypt; the time is just after the tenth plague. Pharaoh has finally relented to allow Israel to leave. The people are assembled, and Moses delivers these words:
Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place. (Ex. 13:3)
(Note that in that same chapter, Moses repeats those words twice more.)
Three months later, at the site of Mt. Sinai, Moses is receiving the Ten Commandments, and God begins by saying:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Ex. 20:2)
And later, as God is setting forth the Law, He reminds Israel:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. (Lev. 26:13)
God wanted His people to remember that He had delivered them out of slavery. That remembrance was to be the fuel that would spur Israel on for the journey ahead. For every doubt, every bump in the road, every unanswered question, remembering who God is and what He had done was to keep them going as the people called to establish His purposes, preparing the way for Messiah.
- How long did Israel remember? Not long at all!
- How far did the works of God’s powerful hand transform the nation? With all their grumbling and rebellion, not far.
The Psalms sum it up perfectly:
They forgot His deeds and His miracles that He had shown them. (Ps. 78:11)
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. (Ps. 106:7)
Here’s where the journey stops for the moment. It’s time to consider God’s forget-Me-not.
If Israel could so quickly forget God’s favor and His mighty works to set them free, could it be the same for us?
“There is nothing new under the sun.” Israel forgot. We forget. But, that doesn’t excuse us.
We have the power to establish something new under the sun!
By the work of our Deliverer, Jesus, and the help of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have us learn from Israel’s forgetfulness, rather than repeat it.
Resolve to Remember!
Take time over the next days and weeks to ask God to bring to mind the things you have forgotten about Him and what He has done for you. Let Him lead you back to His Word to rediscover His love and His power for your life.