“Remember the days of old…” – Deuteronomy 32:7
A Call to Remember
God is big on remembering. Throughout His Word, we find instructions from Him to His people about the importance of remembering and doing things to remember. Of course those instructions had mostly to do with making certain we do not forget Him or what He has done for us, and the disaster that will come if we do forget Him.
There are many examples I could give you, and I am certain you can think of others. But there are two that come quickly to my mind. The first is found in Deuteronomy when Moses is near his death. He has led God’s people out of captivity in Egypt and through 40 years of wandering to the brink of their entering the Promised Land. Moses has been told by God that he will not enter the new dwelling place of the Israelites. It will be Joshua’s task to lead His people to do that.
Faithful Moses gathers the people together to leave them with a final message from their God before he dies. He says to them in Deuteronomy 32:7-9: “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.”
Moses calls the people to never forget what God has done for them. He calls them to remember and never forget–to pass on those stories to future generations. Moses and God knew that they would need this reminder of God’s faithfulness as they faced the difficulties that were in front of them.
The other Scripture that comes quickly to mind is when Jesus was with His disciples, knowing He was about to go to the cross and then ascend into heaven shortly after that. He knew He soon would no longer be with them physically. And He wanted to leave them with something that would help them keep their focus on Him–and to remember His life, teachings, and promises. And He wanted this for all of us who follow Him.
We read in Luke 22:19: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Remembering Allows Us to Move Forward in the Right Direction
Remembrance is important in our walk with Christ. It is important for us to remember important times in our lives when God guided and empowered us through them. In this way, we are encouraged that He will do likewise as we face the difficulties of today and the future.
Remembrance is also vital in our marriages. We remember the good times God has allowed us to share together as husband and wife. And we remember how He walked with us through the hard times. It all helps us to grow in our walk with Him and with each other.
Remembering doesn’t mean we relive the past or strive to dwell there, wishing today could be like the “good old days.” Neither does it mean we wallow in painful things from the past that might paralyze us. No, God’s call to us to remember keeps us moving forward, becoming more Christ-like and serving Him.
God tells us in Proverbs 4:25-27: “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
Paul writes these important words about himself to encourage us to do the same in Philippians 3:12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
God gave us these instructions in Hebrews 12:1-3: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
My Junior High School moto was: “Forward ever; backward never.” Short, sweet, and one I have never forgotten, even after four decades. I think it is exactly what God is saying to us as we move ahead in our brief time with Him here on earth.
Remembering Allows Us to Live Thankful Lives
God wants us to remember–learn from, be encouraged by, and (yes, I believe) even have fond thoughts about our past. And if we are blessed to share that time with a godly husband or wife, He wants us to gratefully enjoy this gracious gift He has given us.
This week, Sabra will share with you a Simply Fun activity in her next post, one inspired by this teaching. I don’t want to give everything away, but we had a great time going back in our history together a bit. We met in Fort Worth, Texas, were married here, went away for a while to serve the Lord in Kansas City, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and then returned here to Fort Worth for me to teach at Southwestern Seminary. Since we are back where God started our journey for us, we decided to take a little trip down memory lane to those early days we spent together.
We visited some of those places we recall fondly from our dating, engagement, and early marriage years. Things have certainly changed. And we have, too. I pray that we have become more Christ-like, for one thing. And I pray I am a better husband today. I know that as much as I loved Sabra then, I love her more today. I believe we both certainly love the Lord more.
We hope that this teaching and her upcoming post will encourage you to take a trip down your own memory lane together, and be reminded how God has been good to you. You may not be able to do it physically as Sabra and I did, but you can do it by sharing pictures and stories.
Questions for Discussion
- Read this week’s teaching, making certain to focus on God’s Word. Discuss together what God is teaching you about your marriage.
- Discuss some of the events you see as key in your relationship. These can be exciting, fun, and difficult times. Discuss how God has used each of these to help you grow individually in your walk with Him, and together with each other and with Him.
- Discuss ways you can recall together important times in your relationship. Make specific plans to follow through on what you discuss. Maybe it will be a quiet evening at home looking at pictures and/or videos. Maybe it will be an excursion somewhere important to you both.
- Pray and thank God for bringing you to the place you are now. Thank Him for the way He has worked in your lives and marriage to help you to grow in relationship with Him and with each other. Ask Him to continue to help you to grow closer together, and to always keep Him at the center of your marriage.
May God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.