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Remembering to Remember, Part 1

by | Dec 8, 2017 | Remembering to Remember (A Mini-Series)

Your Bob owes our Bob a Bob, if your Bob doesn’t return the Bob your Bob owes our Bob, our Bob will give your Bob a Bob in the eye…

So goes an old tongue in cheek tongue-twister with the word Bob being repeated not less than 10 times. Now Moses, that peerless leader of Old Testament times, certainly did not want his swansong sermon, the one he delivered before disappearing atop Mount Nebo and never returning (seeDeut. 34:1-6), to be remembered as some kind of a tongue-twister. A closer scrutiny of his monumental address, which is preserved in the Sacred Canon under the title “Deuteronomy”, would reveal that he used the word “Remember” again and again to press his point home. He used it 16 times to be more precise! When we consider at what stage of their wilderness journey the children of Israel were at that point in time (remember that they were travelling from Egypt to Canaan under his leadership), the word “remember” becomes all the more relevant. Oh yes, they were camped on the Eastern Bank of River Jordan, with the “Promised Land” seemingly just a stone’s throw away. With the mission, “Conquest of Canaan”, looming large before them, they, more than anything, needed to be reminded of the Lord’s power and faithfulness in shepherding their nation through the wilderness over the past 40 years. They needed this to emotionally and spiritually strengthen them for the mission ahead. After all, for the previous generation who had seen with their “own eyes” (words “own eyes” used advisedly), all of God’s powerful miracles in Egypt and beyond, had declared the task of conquering Canaan, courtesy their wavering faith, “Mission impossible”, and this had lead to the tragic and anticlimiatic “so near…yet so far” end (SeeNumbers 13-14).

The audience Moses was addressing now hadn’t seen with “their eyes” like their fathers before them. Instead, they would hear with “their ears” (words “their ears” used advisedly) all of God’s power and faithfulness, and Moses’ message, as evidenced by the subsequent events, would achieve the desired positive, salutary effect (Joshua 11:23). As they took upon themselves the task of conquering Canaan, they were earnestly influenced by this singular address to “remember”. Talk about faith being generated by hearing and not by seeing… (seeRomans 10:17)…

With us about to enter the New Year, after being shepherded faithfully by our good Lord through the previous ones, yours truly felt inspired to share a 2-part series about the Lord’s faithfulness from the book that, after Psalms and Isaiah, is the most often quoted in the rest of the Bible: The book of Deuteronomy…


A Biblical Scholar put a spiritual truth very creatively as such: “God gives and forgives whereas men get and forget”. How true! It is this forgetfulness that leads to the “cooling down of the first love” (Rev. 2:4-5). Because much of love is dependent on gratitude (seeLuke 7:47), it would serve us well to regularly stoke the fires of gratitude by remembering again and again what all the good Lord has done for us faithfully over the years. And not only in 2016. That’s what spiritual exercising is all about (See1 Tim. 4:8). Oh how often, when his spiritual temperatures have plummeted, yours truly would be led to seek solitude (seeMatt 6:6) to revive his spiritual health. For unlike in the physical realm, good health of the soul and temperature are directly proportional. Our Heavenly Father, who would not put off a smouldering wick, is so faithful (SeeMatt. 12:20). He has time and again helped me, through His Holy Spirit, in my weakness (Romans 8:26) to breathe fire into the smouldering embers of my soul.

Unless one is healthy spiritually, where is the question of us standing up as faithful witnesses for the Lord, which ought to be the primary goal of any Christian at all times?

Coming back to Deuteronomy, the Israelites would soon be living off the fat of the Land flowing with milk and honey. They faced the live danger of becoming “fat and bloated” by concentrating more on the gifts, as it were, than on the faithful Giver of those gifts. Therefore Moses, besides so many times making them “remember” about the Lord’s loyalty towards their welfare in his farewell message, also taught them a song. A portion of this song, that I am quoting verbatim hereunder, has overtones of gentle warning. The portion is oh-so-explanatory that it ought to serve as a gentle warning to all us even in the current age as well:

“But Israel was soon overfed; Yes, fat and bloated; Then, in plenty, they forsook their God.
They shrugged away the Rock of their salvation…”
(Deut. 32:15 TLB).

God forbid such a condition coming upon a Christian whose needs have been adequately taken care of at all times by our Divine Provider…

Prayer: Father, I confess I often forget Thy innumerable favors in my life to my own detriment. I resolve hereby to remember Thy manifold blessings. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

(To acess the entire “Remembering to Remember” mini-series, please click here.)


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