One of the great tragedies of our age is the increase of Alzheimer's disease, a malevolent condition that robs one, usually aged persons, of their memory and their personality, as they slide off into mental darkness. Many have experienced this and so many families now have to deal with the horrific consequences of the loss of memory and other disabilities associated with the disease that is epidemic.
While contemplating these things, I was impressed with the importance of remembering, something most of us take for granted. Yet even for healthy people, the failure to remember can have catastrophic results. I think that it is very interesting that the Bible, a book which most people in Western societies own but seldom read, has much to say about the importance of remembering.
Solomon, the wise king of Israel, wrote in chapter 12 of Ecclesiastes, in a beautiful passage about growing old: "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come." And those difficult days do come; ask any elderly person who is experiencing declining health and the infirmities of age. The rest of the chapter describes the aging process in vivid, colorful language.
But, there are many other enjoinders to "remember." For example, as a part of the basic rules for living, known as the Ten Commandments, the Eternal God said, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:811). And yet, most people have forgotten and do not follow this plain instruction to remember the day that God made holy.
Great promises were made to those who remember the instructions given by God. Not only were spiritual blessings promised, but physical benefits as well. For example, "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day" (Deuteronomy 8:18). God's ways, practiced consistently, will bring prosperity over time.
Down through the ages, the important admonition to remember was given over and over, but for the most part it has been ignored. The heartbreaking results are all about you. Some have been diligent in remembering God's ways, and their good examples are also recorded.
For example, Nehemiah, who was instrumental in restoring the temple against very difficult circumstances, cried out to God to remember him, saying: "Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!" (Nehemiah 13:14). So we see that it is not wrong to ask our Heavenly Father to remember us, and we can be certain that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
There is also an example that should be very encouraging to all of us, as sinful human beings. The setting for this scene is on the hill of Golgotha outside of Jerusalem, where three stakes are silhouetted on the horizon on to which are nailed three men being executed in the brutal method of crucifixion used by the Romans. One of these men is Jesus, the Christ, as He hangs between two criminals. One of those condemned men comes to realize his spiritual condition and he cries out to Jesus: "'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.' And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise'" (Luke 23:32–43). If this repentant criminal can be promised Paradise, then so can we.
To help you remember what is truly important, we offer study materials, free of charge, which will guide you in the Way of life that we are instructed not to forget. You can find them on this website.