Remembrance is a catalyst for obedience to God’s word that brings us to a new life. Redeemed how I love to proclaim it! Well, I’m learning to consider it, to accept it, and to love it.
In doing the Word of God, I am called to use my mind in regards to my relationship with God. So as I’m reading through Scripture during time set aside each day, words meant to engage my mind pop off the page and say hello.
Here’s another tucked away in Deuteronomy:
The culture … the habit … of remembrance is a habit of using our mind. We can call to mind past experiences. What happened? How did people respond? What was the cumulative effect? Why? This then makes a difference in our daily life.
In Deuteronomy, the word for “Remember” is 2142 – zākar:- to remember, consider, commemorate; to be remembered, to be mentioned; to be born male (as this relates to the family line not being forgotten, Deuteronomy 25:5-10); bring to remembrance, remind, record.
As an aside, we commemorate the 4th of July in America because we commemorate a national battle victory and the founding of our nation as a nation with a part to play in the world as we know it. We commemorate various holidays because they meant something to someone at some time. But here is a question to ponder: What events or milestones in my own life do I call to remembrance by some sort of commemorative act?
Americans are particularly over the top about birthdays. Ok. If that’s what you want to do, do it. I confess I’m not so over the top about birthdays. In fact my own birth story is a bit dark and I don’t tell it very often. Is there anything else in life to mark as worthy of a remembering, a sort of impressing-the-mind-with-it activity?
God thinks so.
In Deuteronomy 24, the call to remember is given three times.
- V9 – Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam along the way after you came out of Egypt
- The remembrance: skin disease.
- The issue: who speaks for God? (Divisive prophets vs. Chosen prophets ) You can read the story here
- V18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.
- The remembrance: Obedience to the commands not to deprive the alien or fatherless of justice; Do not take the cloak of a widow as a pledge
- The issue: Injustice transformed into Deeds of Justice
- V22- Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.
- The remembrance: Obedience to the harvest command not to go over your fields twice
- The issue: Impoverished People transformed into Providers
you were slaves
Who wants to commemorate the bad times?
Can you imagine Miriam? Go on a rant, God covers you in leprosy, you get put out of the camp for seven days and now anyone who gets a skin disease is supposed to remember just how badly you screwed up?! …Forever and always!!! How could she ever be social again?
Or slavery? Yeah, let’s remember that shall we… that’s when I got beat. I couldn’t keep my own schedule. Had enough food but they took our children and killed them. I was angry most days and despairing the rest. Oh how my body ached. My people tried to remind ourselves about the LORD but who had the time? We thought the LORD didn’t even care about us anymore. Everything we did was for Egyptian wealth, Egyptian worship; some of our children were caught up in the worship of Egyptian idols because of it. Nothing we possessed was our own; it could be taken away at any minute. It’s over now. Can I just forget about it please?
God’s answer is a clear and resounding, “No.”
I have heard it said that we should forget our past; “Throw it away.”, “Don’t hang on to it.”, “Put it behind you.”, “Get over it already!”, “Just don’t think about it.”. Deuteronomy is directly opposed to that ideology. Instead of wallowing in our past and being overcome by it, God tells His people to remember their past and by doing so, live differently in this new chapter of their journey.
God redeemed you
Redeemed 6299- pādâ:- redeem, ransom, deliver, rescue, buy; to be brought to ransomed; this can mean to purchase a devoted animal from sacrifice or to purchase a person from slavery to freedom or new ownership; by extension: divine salvation from oppression, death or sin.
On my journey to the New Land, I am learning to live the new way. I am no longer caught up in the oppression of abandonment because Jesus is not ashamed to call me sister. Abandonment is only a piece of my story… a dark piece. But if I don’t tell you the dark parts, I might forget to live in the light parts and you would most certainly not be able to share in my happy I-Live-In-The-Light dances. :)
Instead of hiding my weaknesses I boast about them because God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. Instead of hiding who God made me to be behind a curtain of lies, I aim to tell the truth and bring Him glory by doing so. Instead of being self absorbed, I begin to cultivate a genuine concern for the welfare of others and gather the wisdom from God to do so with skill. Colossians 1:20-22; Colossians 3
You see, God redeemed me from those dark places, those bad times. God is bringing me to a much better place by setting remembrances in place that I cannot avoid…that I am commanded to obey.
39 Therefore know and understand today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40 So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (AMP)
Redemption is the reason for God’s commands
Remembrance is why we choose to obey those commands.
Obedience to God’s laws brings new living in the New Land and promotes our prosperity.
Live long and prosper. Live blessed.
What events in life do you call to remembrance by some sort of commemorative act?