By ELDER DR MASIMBA MAVAZA
Remember, Do Not Forget
Memory Text: Deuteronomy 9:7
“ ‘Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord’ ” (Deuteronomy 9:7, NKJV).
Two words appear all through the Bible: “remember” and “forget.” Both refer to something human, something that happens in our minds. Both are verbs, and they are opposites: to remember is not to forget, and to forget is not to remember.
God often tells His people to remember all the things that He has done for them; to remember His grace for them and His goodness toward them. So much of the Old Testament consisted of the prophets telling the people, the Hebrew people, not to forget what the Lord had done for them. But also, most important, they were not to forget what their calling in Him was and what kind of people they were to be in response to that calling. “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old” (Ps. 77:11, NKJV).
Is it any different for us today, both at a corporate level and, even more so, at a personal one? How easy it is to forget what God has done for us.
This week, as expressed in Deuteronomy, we’ll look at this important principle, that of remembering and not forgetting God’s interaction in our lives.
SABBATH: The daily toils of this life has the power to absorb our attention & lead us to forget about God & His mercies. Repeatedly, we are cautioned not to forget God’s blessings in our lives. Israel was blessed by God but in many ways forgot about Him. God’s grace & goodness is so precious to forget (Ps. 77:11). Today, at a corporate & personal level, we must count our blessings, not trials—don’t forget!
SUNDAY: Our own limitations make us incapable of knowing all things. Purposefully, “remember” is used in the Bible to warn mankind not to forget but ponder on God’s words. The word is first used after the flood. God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of His covenant with all earth. He did not need the rainbow to remember, we needed it (Gen. 9:8-17). God’s power over natural laws calls us trust Him (PP, p. 97).
MONDAY: The signs & wonders of God was marvelous in the eyes of the Israelites. It was God’s way of helping them to remember His love for them in the past. They’d only be bold to face the future in faith by remembering the past deeds of God (Deut. 4:34). Israel saw signs of God never seen before since the earth began. They were to be thankful to God for His mighty works & obey (Deut. 4:32-40).
TUESDAY: Israel was to heed to the divine injunction; “don’t forget God’s love nor the covenant that He made with you” (Deut. 4:9, 23). To “take heed” (translated “keep yourself”) is to; “watch”, “guard” or “preserve”. An example, Adam was to “keep” the Garden of Eden God gave him (Gen. 2:15). Individually, the Israelites were to guard their minds lest they forget to obey God & share Him (Deut. 6:7 & 11:19).
WEDNESDAY: God is our insurance policy & our blessed assurance. Israel tasted God’s assurance & insurance policy. God took Israel to Canaan. When a former GC leader lost his bag twice at the airport, he assured his wife not to worry for insurance would cover it! While Israel was not to worry, they’d to be careful not to let the comfort in the land lead them to forget God’s grace (Deut. 8:7-18, Mark 4:19).
THURSDAY: To commemorate the great deliverance of Israel out of slavery, the Passover feast was to be observed yearly in Israel. Today, many Jews keep this feast. Christ is our Passover for saving us from sin (1 Cor. 5:7, Exod. 12:25-27). Paul bid the Gentiles to remember what God had done for them in Christ. Both Israel & the Gentiles were saved not by their might but by Christ (Eph. 2:8-13, DA, p. 83).
FRIDAY: God pitied the lost world. The stamp of evil was impressed on every surface of the earth & on human faces. Full of compassion, He hanged the rainbow in the sky after cleansing the world from sin for the righteous. God says He will remember His covenant with all the earth when He looks at the bow. Not that God forgets but to speak to us in human language. We need to trust in God & not in wealth. Wealth come with traps.
—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 106, 107.
PP- Patriarchs and Prophets
GC- General Conference
DA- The Desire of Ages
SUNDAY- Remembering The Rainbow
MONDAY- Concerning The Days That Are Past
TUESDAY- “Take Heed . . . Lest You Forget”
WEDNESDAY- Eaten And Full
THURSDAY- Remember That You Were A Slave
📌 Discuss the question of how wealth (which can be very relative; that is, someone not deemed wealthy in his country might be seen as super-rich by those in another one) impacts our spirituality. What are ways that those “with money” can protect themselves from some of the spiritual dangers that wealth can create?
📌 In class, talk about the closing scenes in Christ’s life and what they tell us about God’s love for us and why we must never forget the reality of that love. What other things can you think of that reveal the goodness of God, and why we should always keep this reality in mind?
📌 Though some scientists say there was no worldwide flood, despite the Bible saying that there was (and the rainbow), some say there was no six-day Creation, either, despite the Bible saying that there was (and the seventh-day Sabbath to memorialize it). What should this tell us about what a powerful, and negative, impact culture can have on faith?