Forget not all his benefits

Remembrance and its opposite - Sixth in a series

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Ps 103:1-2) The Psalmist is reflecting upon the many reasons to thank the Lord: For forgiving sins, for healing our diseases, for redeeming us from destruction, for so many loving and merciful deeds to us, for nourishment, for executing righteous judgment for those in need, for his piteous care.

Yet the history of Israel, God's own people, is a litany of forgetting. Despite the miracles establishing her as a nation and the multitude of deliverances over the centuries, she was wayward and idolatrous in times of peace and prosperity.

As promised— or threatened as it were, when God's people forgot Him, he heaped mischiefs upon them and spent his arrow on them; he enforced hunger and burning heat on their frames; wild beasts and serpents attacked them. "The sword without, and terror within" destroyed young and old alike. (Deut 32:23-25)

Both the Old and New Testaments remind and warn us to be diligent to remember the Lord in all our ways. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Mat 6:33); Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. (Rev 3:3); Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day. (Deut 8:11)

The punishment for forgetting is: even more forgetfulness. A frightening prospect! The careless turn from remembering the Lord devolves to an erosion of memory, a mark of temporal judgment that may foreshadow eternal damnation.

Isaiah describes this process.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (Is 6:8-12)

The sorrowful judgment was also described by Christ:

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. (Mat 13:16)

It was both Isaiah's and the Lord’s ministry to prophesy, knowing their words would fall on deaf ears. Thus, the warnings of God, ignored, would result in very severe desolations. Yet, a small number in the land would hear and respect God's Words.

Likewise, for us today, the forgetful do not appreciate that we have God's Word for help in every need, and as they ignore and discount it, at first rebelliously and then by his divine enforcement, tragedies and miseries are in view. Perhaps some would criticize: Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?" (Rom 9:19)

Will enlightenment be given to the defiant?

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Ps 60:4

Improve God's remembrance of you

Remembrance and its opposite - Fourth in a series

One of the thieves crucified at Calvary alongside Christ wanted to be remembered by him. He defended Jesus against the taunts of the other thief, and Christ promised him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:40-43)

However, both thieves mocked Christ as their punishments began. “[…the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders…] The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth." (Mat 27:41-44)

But in the end, after hours of excruciating pain, the one had amended his views. At last he said, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:40-42)

Thus did physical torture and delay in deliverance lead to eternal reward.

Have you wondered why you are experiencing torturous delays to answered prayers and painful, lengthy trials? Yet in waiting on God:

  • We learn patience, endurance and perseverance.
  • We gain insight to the suffering of others and become able to counsel and comfort them.
  • We are led to draw close to God for strength and peace.
  • As we strain to listen and he draws us nearer, we become more like him.
  • We may even be led to wonder if what we are waiting for is, after all, what we really need. We gain wisdom. Indeed, if we thought he did not know us fully, we were in great need of enlightenment. Will we now pray in new ways?

Thus, as we wait and suffer, often feeling that God has forgotten us, we are made better so that God's remembrance of us might be improved, in a manner of speaking.

Remembrance and its opposite

Remembrance and its opposite - First in a series

The Bible tells us that all the living are to remember the faithfulness and works of the Lord and that failing to do so brings judgment.

When we forget to commemorate what we ought to cherish, God will not forget. If we forget important truths and events, wisdom dies.

Remembrance may be either a rich feast to comfort and nourish us or a bitter fruit enforcing avoidance and rational fear.

Here begins a series on Remembrance and its opposite as God has shared in his Word.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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