LEST THOU FORGET Andy Hollifield 6-28-17
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thine heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons;
Deuteronomy 6:12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
“Lest thou forget.” A phrase that is used only twice in scripture but is so vitally important to our walk with the Lord. “By way of remembrance” is a phrase used only in the scripture above. Peter admonishing believers that have “obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ”(2 Peter 1:1) to be mindful of the words spoken before by the prophets and the apostles. If we forget where God brought us from, we are likely to try to return there because of our fleshly nature which “is enmity against God” because of a carnal mind. Eight times throughout scripture the phrase “forget not” is used to caution us. The psalmist even said in 103:2 Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
The word “forget” is used 54 times in the bible. The first time is in Genesis 27:45 when Rebekah was sending Jacob to stay with her brother Laban until Esau had time to forget how Jacob had cheated him out of his blessing. The last time it is used is in Hebrews 13:16 where Paul tells the Hebrews “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” It is curious to me that the first time is about Jacob cheating his brother and the last time is a warning to do good. I don’t really believe in coincidences but only in divine order. I believe God put it in his word that way for a reason.
The scripture above in Hebrews 13:2 is one of only 2 times the bible uses the word “forgetful.” The other time is in James 1:25 where James tells us that if we are “not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work,” we will be blessed. I started to title this article, “Living On Leftovers” because a lot of times, that is all we have. We have the memory of when God was real in our life but memories are all we have. Let me tell you that God has not changed so if he was real in your life but isn’t now, it is you that has changed. He has not withdrawn from you but you have withdrawn yourself from him. That is why you have to live on the leftovers of remembering what God used to do in your life. I believe in eating leftovers, both physically and spiritually, but in either case, I don’t want that to be all I have. The bible uses the word “remember” 148 times in 144 verses. It starts in Genesis 9:15 with God talking about how he will remember his covenant with Noah that he will never again destroy the earth with a flood and the last time is in Revelation 3:3 when Christ is speaking to the church in Sardis and telling them to “remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” This is right after he told them that ” I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” In verse 2, he tells them to “be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” How are we ever going to do better if we don’t realize that our works aren’t perfect before the Lord? I believe it would serve us well to examine our own hearts and lives and see if we have made progress in our walk with the Lord or fallen back from where we one time were. The word “remembrance” is used 53 times in 52 verses. It is used often by the psalmist talking about calling to remembrance God’s holiness and righteousness as well as his wrath. Jeremiah spoke in Lamentation 3:20 about remembering where God had brought him from and was humbled in his soul because of the Lord’s mercies. Luke also spoke in 1:54 about how the Lord had helped Israel and how he was grateful that God had helped them by remembering his mercy. Truly in my life, I can remember God’s mercy and where he brought me from and where I could have been without it. I know I talk about that often in my writing but it is just because the Lord has been so merciful to me in so many ways that I can’t help but remember it.
While we shouldn’t dwell on our past and live defeated over sin’s that God has already forgiven us of, we should look back often in remembrance of his mercy and blessings and be encouraged. And besides that, who knows when we might entertain an angel? I don’t ever want to forget who I am and what I am and where the Lord brought me from. “Lest I forget” the things that my eyes have seen and they depart from my heart. I don’t have to look in scripture to find miracles and the tender mercies of God. I only have to remember the things my eyes have seen, “lest I forget.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!