Calling to mind the works of God and living life to the glory of this God is the challenge we face. The Bible uses the word “remember” to describe this activity. To remember is not only to call to mind God and his works, but to act based on this remembering. I have written several articles about this that you may want to reference:
- The Art of Remembering (pt. 1)
- The Art of Remembering (pt. 2)
- The Art of Remembering (pt. 3)
- The Art of Remembering (pt. 4): Forgive Without Forgetting
- God Remembered Hannah
But what happens when we don’t do this? What happens when we either don’t recall God and his works, or we don’t act accordingly? This is what we are calling, “Forgetting God.” In the following verse, this idea is fleshed out:
But they forgot the LORD their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them.(1 Samuel 12:9 ESV)
Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your fathers.(1 Samuel 12:7 ESV)
- Forgetting God indicates that, like Israel, we experience his blessings and then fail to worship and walk with the one who has blessed us.
- Forgetting God indicates that we serve other gods instead of the God who has cared for us.
- Forgetting God means to rebel against his commandments.
- Forgetting God is to turn aside from following the Lord.
- Forgetting God is turning to empty things that cannot profit nor deliver.
As Samuel spoke, the people realized that they had repeated this history. They repented of their sin of serving other gods. How could they trust God against their enemies when they were not honoring God. Instead they were honoring their enemies’ gods. The result was that they were enslaved and in bondage.
Forgetting God always leads to enslavement and bondage. Remembering God brings just the opposite – freedom.
Samuel then called Israel to remember God in this manner:
- Fear the Lord.
- Serve the Lord with all your heart.
- Obey his voice.
- Follow the Lord.
Concerning God, do you remember God this way or have you forgotten him. If you have forgotten him, do as Israel did. They repented and called out to God.