Well, not literally. I mean I didn’t leave Him behind anywhere or have a sudden onset of amnesia, forgetting His name. I mean that I forgot what He was like. I forgot His character. I forgot Him.
In this past week, my Bible reading plan has led me into Deuteronomy. What struck me as I read through the first few chapters was the way in which Moses goes over, in great detail, the record of God’s interactions with Israel. He recounts God’s faithfulness to Israel, all the way through their journey in the wilderness and now in leading them to the edge of the Promised Land. As they stand on the cusp of the land flowing with milk and honey, God peculiarly and insistently commands Israel to “Remember and don’t forget!” (Deut. 5:15; 6:12; 8:2, 11; 9:7).
You see, God knew the challenges that awaited His people in a land of abundance, wealth and prosperity (Deut. 6:10-15). Challenges that would dull, distract and deceive the Israelites into forgetting the one true God. Not forgetting His name or facts about Him, but forgetting what He is like, forgetting what He had done for them.
You and I know that the trials and the triumphs of life have a funny way of obscuring our view of God. When illness strikes, we tend to forget that God is both good and sovereign. When we have extra money in our bank account, we tend to forget that God is our provider. When sexu-al temptation assaults us, we tend to forget that God alone is completely satisfying. When someone wounds us and we find it difficult to forgive, we tend to forget how much God has forgiven us. When we stop battling to kill and overcome sin, we tend to forget that God is holy. When we continually struggle with the same sin, we tend to forget that God is merciful. We all have a tendency to forget.
But the amazing truth of the gospel is that even though we have short memories and fickle hearts, God remains steadfast. He is unwavering in goodness, unswerving in justice and un-ending in grace. And we see what God is like, most clearly and in vivid detail, at the cross of His Son Jesus Christ. In His great love, God poured out His wrath against sin and evil on His Son, so that justice could be done and grace could be given. This is why, in any situation or circumstance, if you are tempted to forget God, to forget what He is like, you should take a long hard look at the bloodied and broken body of our Lord Jesus Christ, hanging in your place, and remember. Remember and don’t forget.