And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou was naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.
One main thing the nation of Israel was admonished to do from the very beginning was to remember. They were to remember the God they served and His great and mighty acts and their miraculous deliverance by His hand from the land of Egypt. They were supposed to remember that a group of wanderers had followed God Himself into their own promised land and He had defeated their enemies and blessed them so abundantly and given them His favor. They were supposed to remember what kind of people they were, exposed by the law to be but sinful men who could not match up to God’s perfection.
And one of the biggest faults of the people was that they so often neglected to remember. They didn’t keep the Passover every year and remember God’s mercy. They didn’t remember the law of God and that there were consequences for their actions. They didn’t remember where they had come from and what they had been given. And they didn’t remember their God in the midst of all their idols and selfish pursuits. They didn’t remember His warnings or His promised judgment. Most of all, it seemed they didn’t remember how much they needed God.
May we not be forgetful in our lives of the goodness of God, the magnitude of His mercy and love, and our place before Him. May we not forget that we were condemned sinners with no hope delivered by Jesus into eternal life and fellowship with the Father. May we not forget all that God has done for us and all that He’s promised to do. Let us not forget that there are consequences for our choices and that our God judges righteous judgment. May we not forget our former state and our need for God so that we do not take for granted the life we have in Him now.
In a sense, the people of Israel failed by not remembering. One step away from God led them down a slippery slope into captivity, death, condemnation and judgment. But let us always remember that God never forsakes His own and that He delights to show mercy. Let us not forget that His love for us is an endless sea and that He went to the cross to prove it. Let us not forget who we once were so that He gets the glory for making us into who we are now.