Why Does God Say, "Remember"?

There's no place for amnesia when it comes to God's work in history. Yesterday morning I took a few minutes to view a 9/11 memorial video entitled "In My Seat." It is a compelling testimony of God's providence, a wake-up call to maximize every minute, and a salient reminder of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. I also appreciated the story because it helped me to remember 9/11.

Remembering is an important work to which God call us:

  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8
  • So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. Numbers 15:40
  • You shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh.  Deuteronomy 7:17-18
  • Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. Nehemiah 4:14
  • I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11
  • Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' John 15:20
  • Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Hebrews 13:17
  • They did not remember his power or the day when he redeemed them from the foe. Psalm 78:42

Why does God say, "Remember"? There are many reasons, but let me focus on just one. In calling us to remember, God is elevating his presence and power in history. History matters. The past is the canvas on which we paint the present. But when we forget God's place over the events of history, we paint the present dark and foreboding. On the other hand, remembering God's work in the past encourages, comforts, and emboldens us in the present--even when the present is not pretty.

That's why God wants us to look back. It is as if he says, "Remember how I "showed up" in the past? I'll show up again today!" "Remember how you saw my power in the past? You will see it again today!" "Remember how much I cared in the past? I care every bit as much today!"

This weekend, we remember the atrocities and the agony of September 11, 2001. These memories sadden us, but they don't have to paralyze us. God came through for his people yesterday. He will come through for us today.

He wants you to remember that!