How Important is it to REMEMBER What God Has Done? #167
Hello friends and happy Saturday to you! Today’s pod will be short and sweet, because the weekend episodes are usually shorter and because yesterday’s episode on the Mark of the Beast and the number 666 was quite long! Our Bible readings for the day include Deuteronomy 18, Psalms 105, Isaiah 45 and Revelation 15. We will take a brief break from all end times, all the time in order to focus on the Psalms for the first time in quite a while. Psalms 105 is a very interesting passage in that it is as if the psalmist combined equal parts poetry, worship song and history lesson into a blender, pressed the button, and out popped Psalm 105. It is long, but deep, and very reminiscent of Stephen’s sermon in Acts, right before his martyrdom, in which he basically recounts the entire history of the people of God up until that point. Let’s read the passage, paying particular attention to the early call to REMEMBER what God has done:
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wondrous works he has done,
his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced,
6 you offspring of Abraham his servant,
Jacob’s descendants—his chosen ones.7 He is the Lord our God;his judgments govern the whole earth. 8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he ordained for a thousand generations— 9 the covenant he made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, 10 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree and to Israel as a permanent covenant: 11 “I will give the land of Canaan to you as your inherited portion.”
Many times the Word of God calls on God’s followers to seek His face, and I believe vs 5 gives us one of the prime ways that we seek God’s face: By REMEMBERING His works/deeds, His miracles AND His judgments. This is an oft repeated exhortation all throughout Scripture, and a very important one, but I am quite convinced that most preachers and teachers don’t call the church to remember God’s wonders, works and judgments quite often enough. Let’s read a few passages that might cause us to reconsider this:
- “Remember this and be brave;
take it to heart, you transgressors!
9 Remember what happened long ago,
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and no one is like me.
10 I declare the end from the beginning,
and from long ago what is not yet done,
saying: my plan will take place,
and I will do all my will. – Isaiah 46:8-10
- Deuteronomy 8:1-2 “Carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your ancestors. 2 Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these forty years in the wilderness, so that he might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
- Deuteronomy 24:18 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this. I note here that Deuteronomy is FILLED with commands to the people of Israel to remember what God has done.
- In Psalm 77, when Asaph was depressed, the way he handled that depression was to remember what God had done, “I will remember the Lord’s works;
yes, I will remember your ancient wonders.
12 I will reflect on all you have done
and meditate on your actions.“
- Same with David in Psalm 143, ” My spirit is weak within me;
my heart is overcome with dismay. 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all you have done; I reflect on the work of your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to you; I am like parched land before you.Selah”
6. Asaph in Psalms 78:41-43 traces the Israelites rebellion against God to the fact that they failed to remember His power and wonders “They constantly tested God
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power shown
on the day he redeemed them from the foe,
43 when he performed his miraculous signs in Egypt
and his wonders in the territory of Zoan.”
7. The psalmist in Psalms 119 consoles himself in the midst of persecutions by remembering the judgments of God, “51 The arrogant constantly ridicule me,
but I do not turn away from your instruction.
52 Lord, I remember your judgments from long ago
and find comfort.”
8. Isaiah 17:9-11 outlines the dangers of failing to remember God’s great deeds and judgments, “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and you have failed to remember
the rock of your strength;
therefore you will plant beautiful plants
and set out cuttings from exotic vines.
11 On the day that you plant,
you will help them to grow,
and in the morning
you will help your seed to sprout,
but the harvest will vanish
on the day of disease and incurable pain.”
9. The Great Commission contains an exhortation to remember, “ Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
10. Paul exhorts Timothy to remember the good news, ” 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead and descended from David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer to the point of being bound like a criminal. But the word of God is not bound.” 2nd Timothy 2:7-9
Indeed, one of the main roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives, according to Jesus, is to REMIND us of the Words of Jesus, “25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:25-26)
As we think about the importance of remembering what God has done, let’s close with a short exhortation from Charles Spurgeon to do just that:
Memory is never better employed than upon such topics. Alas, we are far more ready to recollect foolish and evil things than to retain in our minds the glorious deeds of Jehovah. If we would keep these in remembrance our faith would be stronger, our gratitude warmer, our devotion more fervent, and our love more intense. Shame upon us that we should let slip what it would seem impossible to forget. We ought to need no exhortation to remember such wonders, especially as he has wrought them all on the behalf of his people. “His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth”—these also should be had in memory. The judgments of his mouth are as memorable as the marvels of his hand. God had but to speak and the enemies of his people were sorely afflicted; his threats were not mere words, but smote his adversaries terribly. As the Word of God is the salvation of his saints, so is it the destruction of the ungodly: out of his mouth goeth a two-edged sword with which he will slay the wicked.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 88-110, vol. 4 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 337.