The last few days I have been doing some thinking. Several questions began to go through my mind. So today I am taking a few minutes to find at least a few answers. Most of us clearly remember 9-11 and the terrible tragedy of that day. Many of us can still see those images in our minds eye if we allow ourselves to really think about that day and most can tell you exactly what we were doing when the towers collapsed, the Pentagon was hit and the last plane was crashed.
So, my first question was how important is it that we take time and choose to remember the events in our lives. I began by looking up the word remember in the Bible. According to http://www.christianbiblereference.org the Bible contains between 148 and 168 references to the word remember depending on what translation/version that you are using. According to http://www.sermoncentral.com, Pastor Toby Powers stated that in the KJV there are 320 references to the word remember in some tense or form throughout the Bible.
How important is it to remember? One quote I found is:
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke
It would seem that this lines up with what God tried to teach us from the earliest of times. The first mention of remember that I found in the Bible was Genesis 9:15 and it was a promise from God that He would remember His covenant with His people.The first time He told His people to remember seems to be in Exodus 13:3: “ Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the Lord brought you out of here by the strength of His hand.” God’s people were told to remember and to teach their children to remember. They were encouraged to remember because of all God had done for them. If you look at the history of God’s people in the Bible there is a cyclical tendency in many of us. We tend to forget at some point to remember what God has done for us either because of the worries and concerns of our world (distractions) or because of deceptions from the enemy. When this happens we slip into doubt and unbelief because of the difficulties and trials we see coming our way rather that walking in faith. When we walk in doubt and unbelief we are prone to loose hope; slip into unhealthy thinking; and take things into our own hands, This can lead to bondage and this is where the Hebrew people found themselves in Egypt. The Hebrew people cry out because of their oppression in Egypt and God hears their cries. He sends Moses and Aaron and after 10 plaques (trials), God delivers them from their oppressors on dry land through the Red Sea and eliminated their enemies in the process. It is here that He told His people to remember in Exodus 13:3. I believe God wanted His people to walk in freedom from that day forward and that is why He asked them to remember and teach it to their children.
We always have a choice in how we will react to the trials and experiences in our lives. When we act in doubt and unbelief we end up on a negative cycle but we always have another choice. We can choose to walk in faith and belief, remembering all that God has done for us in the past and when we choose this positive response we are able to move ahead rather than be stuck in a repetitive cycle. I picture the comparison of a hamster wheel and of a spiral staircase. You get nowhere on a hamster wheel, just keep going in circles getting no where fast. On the other hand a spiral staircase will take you to another level and new opportunities! I don’t know about you, but I have gotten stuck on the wheel running myself crazy going in circles and not getting anywhere and I do not want to ever get stuck on that path again. I much prefer choosing to remember all God has brought me through, remembering He is faithful and will continue the work He has begun in me and doing my best to walk in faith that He will continue to work all things for my good because I love Him, He has called me, and I now am His daughter!
Today I write this not only as an act of remembering the deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt and how God had delivered me many times in my own life, but even more because today is Yom HaShoah– also know as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yom HaShoah began yesterday evening and ends this evening. May we never forget the atrocities of this period in history and may we never forget those who despite the dangers to their own lives did all they could to help those who were being persecuted. May we remember that even today many worldwide are persecuted for their faith and may our remembering and our actions prevent another such event in the future!!