“And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes” (Deuteronomy 16:12).
What is the one disease you fear the most of happening to you? For me, I would dread getting Alzheimer's disease. I would hate to lose memory of who I was and of who my loved ones are. Losing my memories of the special days in my life such as my wedding day, the births of my daughters, and the other significant events in my life is something I fear. I feel for those families that have had to endure the fight with Alzheimer's disease and the loss of a loved one’s memories.
What is worse than Alzheimer's disease is when a person by willful neglect loses the memories of all that God had done for them. As Moses continues to instruct the next generation of the children of Israel regarding the various commands given the them from God, he speaks to them about observing various feasts God wanted them to keep (Deuteronomy 16:1-17). He instructed them about keeping the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Deuteronomy 16:1-8), the Feast of Weeks (Deuteronomy 16:9-11) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:13-15). As the above verse indicates, in the middle of this instruction, Moses gives them the reason God wanted them to remember these various feasts: God wanted them to remember from where they had come. They had been slaves in Egypt!
English novelist Anthony Burgess said, “It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going”. One of the keys to living a wholesome life is keeping a proper perspective on one’s self. We see some people who become very wealthy, very popular, or very successful in their particular fields of endeavor forget from where they had come and their lives spin out of control. One of the best ways to keep a proper perspective of yourself is to remember from where you have come. This helps to keep us humble.
For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, it is easy to forget from where we came. We can begin to lose our humility and start to look down on those around us and say, “Why do these people around me do all these terrible things to each other? Why do they live such wicked lives?” The answer is simple: The world around us is living the way we used to before we got to know Christ! It is important to remember as John Bradford stated: “There, but for the grace of God, go I”.
As Christians, we came from being slaves of sin (John 8:34). Satan had a hold on our hearts and minds. He lured us into temptations by getting us to live life based on fulfilling all of our desires and various lusts (James 1:13-15). Sin dominated our lives and we lived as slaves in service to Satan. Spiritually, we were dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
As a Christian, I celebrate that God reached out to me in my sin and gave me the opportunity to know Him and His Son Jesus and set me free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32). I refuse by willful neglect to forget all that God has done for me. Today, I will remember from where I came and to where I am going!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).