When We Forget
Monday - May 31st
Scripture to Read Today: Amos 2:4-16
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Someone new to my neighborhood posted a question in the "Nextdoor" social media app about how we celebrate Memorial Day in Southern California. Here is their post:
"I just moved here from the East Coast where Memorial Day parades were popular. The kind with the surrounding area police, fire and EMS showing off their shiny vehicles. With the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and other local clubs marching. Many of them tossing candies and small trinkets to the children in the crowd. They were clowns and acrobats and usually Uncle Sam on stilts. Is there anything like this around here?"
Reading that post flooded my mind with the annual Memorial Day Parade in my boyhood home of Mishawaka, Indiana. That was our town's biggest parade of the year. It was just as the person asking the question in the "Nextdoor" app described. Throw in the Shriners on tiny motorcycles, a local high school marching band or two, local veterans groups, and horses and riders bringing up the rear of the parade, and you have the Memorial Day parades of my childhood. Every parade float or participant had an American flag somewhere and somehow waving or draped for all to enjoy. What wonderful memories!
Those annual parades were my hometown's way of remembering the fallen heroes who had given everything for our freedom. The parade and its participants reflected the freedom we enjoyed because of the sacrifice of soldiers over the years. The community gathering and parade were designed to help us remember.
The most frequent command in the Old Testament was the command to remember. The children of Israel were to remember the good hand of God in the lives of their ancestors. As they remembered, they were to remain faithful to Him and His commands given to them as a nation through Moses. When they forgot God, His goodness, and His commands, they turned away from Him and turned to false, pagan idols.
God warned them through a succession of prophets to turn back to Him. Amos 2:4-16 contains one such prophetic warning to both the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. King after king forgot the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They rebelled and worshipped false gods. Eventually, God would send pagan empires to destroy both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. In 722 B.C., the Assyrians conquered Israel and its capital of Samaria. In 586 B.C., the Babylonians conquered Judah and its capital of Jerusalem. Seventy years later, God would restore the people again in the land. The judgment would end.
This all happened because they forgot God. They did not remember Him.
As followers of Christ, we must remember what God has done for us in Jesus. As we do, that memory motivates and moves us forward in Him. Today, this Memorial Day, thank God for what Christ has done for you. Celebrate His sacrifice that has set you free!
When we forget what our God has done for us, we forfeit the peace and joy He wants for us! Let's Remember!