One of the great tragedies of our age is the increase of Alzheimer’s disease, a malevolent condition that robs people, usually the elderly, of their memories and personality, as they slide away into mental darkness. Many have experienced this, and many families have faced the horrific consequences of memory loss and disability that come upon their loved ones.
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 find it quite interesting that the Bible, a book that most people in Western societies own but seldom read, teaches much about the importance of remembering.
Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, wrote a beautiful passage about growing old in the book of Ecclesiastes: “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). 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…. 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 20:8–11).
And yet, most people have forgotten—and they do not follow this plain instruction to observe the Sabbath day that God made holy.
God gave great promises to those who remember His instructions, assuring them benefits both physical and spiritual. 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, God used His servants to repeatedly give the important admonition to remember—but for the most part, it has been ignored. The heartbreaking results are all plain to see in every part of the world today, in almost every aspect of life.
Nevertheless, 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 was the hill of Golgotha, outside of Jerusalem, where three men were once executed in the brutal method of crucifixion used by the Romans. One of these men was Jesus, the Christ, who was crucified between two criminals. One of those condemned men came to realize his spiritual condition, crying out, “‘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 one day, with the return of his Lord, 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. Be sure to start with The Ten Commandments. You can order your free copy or read it online right here at Tomorrow’s World.