And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 a day we will never forget because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Generations earlier, Texans cried, “Remember the Alamo!” When Jews refer to the Holocaust, they remind one another “never forget.”
And yet, the real possibility is that we will indeed forget. While the Holocaust is still a strong part of the Jewish ethos, ask young Americans to explain the events and significance of Pearl Harbor, and they might not be able to tell you. You might know what you’re supposed to remember about the Alamo.
Moses, knowing that we are apt to forget, urges throughout the book of Deuteronomy to remember the goodness of God. God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. God was physically present with them though their desert wanderings. Every day, God fed them with manna from heaven. God protected them from their enemies. Their sandals and clothing didn’t wear out because of God’s loving provision.
And now, as they prepare to enter into a good land, they are likely to forget. When they taste the goodness of the land, drink the fresh water, enjoy a great abundance, they may indeed forget all that God did for them…the way the Alamo is forgotten…or Pearl Harbor…or the way the Holocaust may fade from memory.
The same is true with us today. There is always the danger of forgetting the goodness of Jesus. When you have a warm bed and clothing, you are in danger of forgetting the fact that Jesus provides these things for you. When you have so many things going on, it’s easy to forget Jesus’ goodness. When your neighbors are behaving poorly, it’s easy to forget your own sins and Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of those sins.
As forgiven Christians, we make efforts to be thankful to God at all times, not just at Thanksgiving. We remember Jesus’ death and Resurrection for our forgiveness at all times, not just during Holy Week. We always strive to acknowledge his loving-kindness toward us. We trust that when we become forgetful, God never forgets us.
Heavenly Father, God of all grace, govern our hearts that we may never forget your blessings but steadfastly thank and praise you for all your goodness in this life until, with all your saints, we praise you eternally in your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen