Do You Remember?
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"Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask
your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you."
The older I get, the more I have to remember, but I've noticed that my capacity to remember decreases as the volume of things to remember increases. Personally, I am memory challenged. I don't know if I ever had a good memory-frankly, I don't remember, but I certainly know that I don't have one now. If I don't jot events down in my Palm Pilot and set an alarm to go off to remind me the of the event, then I know that I'll forget the things I'm supposed to do. I've met other people like me, and then I've met another class of people that are memory challenged in a different way-they have selective memories. They remember what they want to remember-usually the things that make them and their friends look good or feel good and their enemies look bad or feel bad.
Four times in the book of Deuteronomy Moses tells the people to remember that they used to be slaves (Deut. 5:15; 16:12; 24:18; 24:22). Why? Because, like many of us, they had selective memories and Moses knew it would be easy to forget where they came from. I'm sure that many of these people would just as soon forget their shameful past. It was much easier to turn their heads and ignore who they were, but when they do, they will never know who they are. Or who their God is. Deut. 5:15 says, "And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day." After remembering they were slaves, then they could remember the power of God's mighty hand and His outstretched arm and know why they pause to observe a holy day.
Look at the power of remembering. It calls us to humility. It woes us to worship and empowers our praise and it gives our obedience significance.
Today, we are not gathering to remember that the Jewish people were once slaves in Egypt. But we are gathering to remember, nonetheless. We remember that when the call to arms went out, brave Americans answered that call and gave their lives. We remember the boys and girls that grew up without a Daddy and the women who raised children on their own because their men answered the call. We remember the Missing in Action and Prisoners of War, whose families still live in uncertainty, wondering what happened to their loved one. Though it would be easier to turn our minds elsewhere and look away, we force ourselves to remember those who are maimed and crippled, physically, emotionally and psychologically by the horrors of war.
Today we remember. Why? Because it is humbling to remember. We like to live in the illusion of safety and security, but the truth is there will always be wars and rumors of wars. We are humble people, totally dependant upon our God for our security. We have no security outside of His providence and grace. So today we remember that we are vulnerable.
We also remember, because God has blessed this nation and we give him
praise and honor for what He has done. If we turn to God in prayer during
crisis, isn't it only right that we return to Him in praise when He answers
those prayers. In every war, righteous men and women have turned to their
God in prayer, asking Him to protect, preserve and prevail. Just a few
months ago, we did it again, and so now we pause to remember-and to praise.