Every November 11th we take a day to pause and reflect in a day originally called Armistice Day. We know it more often as Remembrance Day. This past week our nation stopped at 11:00 a.m. for two minutes with the purpose to remember the fallen soldiers of wars gone by. In storage I have an old very large photograph taken of my maternal grandfather with his formal army uniform on. I also have the uniform along with another uniform that he would have used on a daily basis. His name was John Lowry and he fought in WWI for the British Royal Guard. He lost a leg in battle and had it replaced with a wooden prosthetic. He was poisoned with mustard gas in the trenches and died in his forties from breathing complications and pneumonia. My mother was only two years of age then and never knew her father. I often think of him on Remembrance Day and wonder what sort of man he would have been like.
Memories have a way of weaving themselves into our past, some pleasant and some not. We often draw on them to make current or future decisions and often memories will be a source of humorous stories and anecdotes that fill our lives. Memories can also be a source of pain and we suppress those thoughts; and whether good or bad we can use them to play a positive role in our lives.
The word, “remember” is often used in the scriptures. In researching a few verses I found some interesting references.
1. In 1 Chronicles 16:7-36, King David offers a “Psalm of Thanks” for the Ark of the Covenant being brought back to Jerusalem. In verses 11 and 12 it says “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced”. As we remember the wonders God has done, the children of Israel could look back in their history and see how God had led them and protected them time and time again. For us today we can see it clearly in creation, in the birth of a child or the salvation of a soul and also in God’s protection of us, as we trust Him.
2. Another reference that stood out to me is found in Ecclesiastes 12:1 where it says “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them”. The words here are solemn and should resonate with all of us. It does not matter during which time in life, we need to remember God who often speaks to us in our youth when our mind is uncluttered and listen to His instruction. As we age we are not as open to God’s guidance in our lives, and so the lesson to learn here is to love and trust the Creator when we are young so when we age the difficulties of life will be easier to confront.
3. In Psalm 111:5, he says “He remembers His covenant forever. God makes many promises in the Bible and keeps His word. When He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. A wonderful thing about God is that when we truly give our hearts to Him, he holds on even in those teaching moments when we stray.
4. Once again God extends His mercy to unfaithful Israel in Isaiah 43:25 and says, “I, even, I am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more”. God always is ready to pardon whatever our transgression; His word says, “His mercy endures forever”.
So as we have taken these very brief descriptions of these four portions we see how God uses His memory to bring blessing and reminders into our lives. We also need to be reminded that in a coming day when we stand before God and their names will not be found in the Lamb’s book of Life. If a person rejects Christ as Savior, their name will not recorded and there will be no memory of them having repented of their sins. God will say, “I never knew you”. Let us make sure that we apply the word remember to our lives so that we will stand before God with a clear and forgiven heart and that God will be able to say… “I remember you”.
By: David R. Jones