One might wonder why we need to set aside a day to remember such a precious thing like freedom. One might think, “Who could forget that,” and yet fail to realize how many days we can allow to pass us without ever thanking God for something as precious as freedom.
Forgetfulness is a common experience for all of us, and God is well aware of this weakness.
Many times in the O.T., the Hebrews were ready to cross into the Promised Land only to be stopped with Moses’ words, “Remember the Lord God.” The Torah (first five books of Moses) are filled with reminders to remember.
- Exodus 13:3 – “REMEMBER this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage …”
- Deuteronomy 4:9 – “… Take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, LEST YOU FORGET the things your eyes have seen, and lest you depart from your heart all the days of your life.”
- Deuteronomy 5:15 – “… REMEMBER you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm …”
- Deuteronomy 6:10-12 – “10 So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers … to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant … 12 then beware, LEST YOUR FORGET the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
- Deuteronomy 8:2, 11, 18-19 – “2 And YOU SHALL REMEMBER the LORD your God led you all the way these 40 years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart … 11 Beware that YOU DO NOT FORGET the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes … 18 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 … 19 … if you BY ANY MEANS FORGET the LORD your God, and follow other Gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.”
- Deuteronomy 15:5 – “YOU SHALL REMEMBER that you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this day.”
- Deuteronomy 16:12 – “And YOU SHALL REMEMBER that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.”
- Deuteronomy 24:18 – “But YOU SHALL REMEMBER that you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.”
- Deuteronomy 32:7 – “REMEMBER the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders and they will tell you.”
Well you get the picture
Moses tells his people look back into the past and inquire the lessons to be learned. God even established special festivals to commemorate and remembers acts of God in history.
To God, having a good memory is crucial to faith. That is our lesson when it comes to history: learn from it. You might remember a philosopher saying something like this, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
On this Memorial Day, remember. Thank the Lord for His good provision of freedom. And commit yourself to not forget it in the future.