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The Need for Remembering

Today's readings are from Deuteronomy 8, 9, 10

Alzheimer's Disease is a terrible disease. I saw it firsthand when my mother contracted it in her 60's. She lived ten more years with it, but it was a steady downhill slope of forgetting. The problem is that it's bad enough to forget where you are, what you're suppose to be doing, why you went one place or another; but it's worse to forget relationally. To forget who your friends are, to not recognize your grandchildren, or even your children.

We all have times of forgetfulness...most of the time it's harmless. It usually is no big deal, although at times it can lead to stress in relationships...as in forgetting a lunch meeting, or to return a phone call. Most forgetfulness is unintentional - we simply get busy with other things and forget! Yet sometimes forgetting is part of a bigger issue - we don't want to remember. We tell ourselves a lie, that the person is not that important, or they can wait, or they won't mind...the kind of things that a husband can do to his wife when he "presumes" upon the relationship and begins to take advantage of it, instead of nurturing, valuing, or caring for what it means.

As the Israelites get ready to enter a land, God calls them to remember.

"Remember how the lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the lord."

Remembering was a way of recalling God's faithfulness. He had been faithful all of these years, there was no reason to believe he would not continue to be faithful to them in the land they were about to possess. He had used times of humbling to remind them that we don't live out of our own ingenuity, or life skills, but out of the word that sustains and gives life, direction, and wisdom to live. It was important to "remember" this - why?

"Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery...But remember the lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today."

It's an odd thing - the very thing that leads to prosperity, success, making it is that God is the one who makes our living possible. He is the one who supplies "all good things"... as the book of James says in chpt 1, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

We must not forget...give thanks frequently, be generous, think Kingdomly and not materialistically...it's about working against Spiritual Alzheimers.

Peace

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