Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you (Isaiah 49:15, NKJV).
You remember it, but God has forgotten it.
God has forgiven you. Now forgive yourself.
But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done (Isaiah 43:25, CEV).
After Moses read God’s instructions, laws and commands to the children of Israel, they made an agreement with their mouths. All that the Lord has said, we will do and be obedient (Exodus 24:7).
But their hearts were from far Him. Make us gods, which shall go before us (Exodus 32:1).
Throughout their journey in the wilderness, the Lord had to always remind them of what He said or what He did for them.
Don’t forget the Lord your God.
Don’t forget how you provoked the Lord in the wilderness.
Don’t forget the covenant I made with you.
Remember when you came out of Egypt.
Remember what I did to Pharaoh.
Remember how I kept you for 40 years in the wilderness.
Your clothes and your shoes didn’t wear out.
There were fiery serpents and scorpions in that great and terrible wilderness, but they didn’t harm you.
You never went hungry for I gave you fresh manna from heaven every day.
There was drought and no water, but you didn’t die of thirst.
In Judges 6, the Israelites were crying to God. The Lord had given them over to their enemies for seven years because they did evil in His sight. God allowed the Midianites to destroy their crops and to take everything that belonged to them – their land, sheep, oxen and donkeys. Prior to this, He warned them not to serve the gods of the Amorites once they lived in their land, but they didn’t obey His voice.
They forgot that they had cried to the Lord before, but God sent them help (Moses). He brought them out of Egypt. He brought them out of bondage. He delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians and their oppressors. He drove their enemies out and gave the Israelites their land. God set them free, but they kept returning to the things that placed them back in bondage.
I’m reminded of the man who had an infirmity for 38 years. After he received his healing, Jesus found him later in the temple and said, You are made whole. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come to you (John 5:14). For Jesus to tell him not to sin any more meant that he was in that condition because of sin. I believe this is what Jesus was really saying to that man then and this is what He is saying to us now:
I forgave you. Despite your past, I gave you a future. Remember what I did for you. I’ve shown you how good I am. I gave you another chance. You are whole now. Don’t go back. Remember what happened the last time. Don’t return to the thing that made you sick. If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. Stay free. Stay whole. Show others what I’ve done for you so that they may know what I can do for them.
I know sometimes we wish that God would erase all the painful memories of our past, but I told the Lord recently that there are some memories that I don’t want to forget because if I forget it, I may repeat it.
May we always remember what the Lord has done for us.
[Scripture references: Exodus 13:3; Deuteronomy 4:23, 7:18, 8:1-18, 9:7; Judges 6:1-10; John 5:1-9, 14-15]
Before God delivered His people out of Egypt, he told them that He was going to bless them – for every tear, for every burden, and for every year of oppression. The Israelites helped build the cities of Pithom and Rameses so that Pharaoh could store his treasure. They made mortar and bricks and they did all types of work in the field. It was hard and rigorous yet they were never compensated. Pharaoh used them and never paid them for the work they did. What Pharaoh thought he was laying up for himself in his storehouses were actually being laid up for the children of Israel (Proverbs 13:22). Yes, the Israelites were about to get paid.
And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians and it shall come to pass, that when you go, you shall not go empty (Exodus 3:21).
It took a while, but after the Lord sent the tenth plague – after the death of every Egyptian firstborn (including Pharaoh’s firstborn son), Pharaoh told Moses and the Israelites to get out and because they wanted them to leave their land immediately, they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for.
Let every man borrow (ask) of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold (Exodus 11:2).
In Exodus 32, Moses is on the mount with God. The Israelites thought Moses was taking too long to come down from the mountain and they were tired of waiting on him. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt – who knows what’s happened to him? (Some of us still get this way when it seems like God is taking too long to do what He promised or we don’t feel Him or we don’t hear Him).
Even though God had delivered them, brought them through the Red Sea on dry land and drowned their enemies, they still had a problem trusting Someone who they couldn’t see. So, they asked Aaron to make them something that they could see. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron (Exodus 32:3). After all God had done for them, they took what God gave them and offered it for a golden calf that couldn’t speak to them the way God did, destroy their enemies, deliver them or save them.
They thought Moses had forgotten them when it was actually them who had forgotten God. They forgot to bless the One who had remembered to bless them. I’m sure they had probably thought about all the things they would do with their newfound wealth and yes, God gives us all things to enjoy, but the blessing wasn’t just for them.
Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8).
This is the offering…gold, and silver, and brass (Exodus 25:3)
Despite their ways, God still loved them and He wanted to live with them, live in them and walk in them. He wanted them to be His people and He wanted to be their God. He wanted a relationship.
After they worshipped the golden calf, God wanted to destroy all of them, but Moses interceded on their behalf and God changed His mind. Although God was angry with them, He told Moses and the people to go to the land that He promised them (Exodus 33:1). He made a promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He couldn’t take His word back. God is not a man that He should lie. There were going to be consequences for their sin (Exodus 32:34), but they were going to enter the land – because of a promise.
Some of you think that God has forgotten you, but He hasn’t. Has He said, and will He not do it (Numbers 23:19)? Because of a promise, God is going to bless you – for every hurt, every disappointment, every tear. Some of you were even underpaid and treated unfairly on your jobs, but God is going to restore.
And when God does it, don’t forget about Him.
Beware that in your plenty, you don’t forget the Lord and begin to disobey Him (Deuteronomy 8:11, TLB).
Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to his home. Luke tells us about a woman in the city that was a sinner (7:37). Although she wasn’t invited to Simon’s home, she went there to see Jesus. I’m sure there were other teachers and rabbis in that city, but there was something different about this Jesus. Maybe she heard about the widow’s son who was raised from the dead or the centurion’s servant that was healed or the leper that was cleansed.
She didn’t carry any water or towels with her to Simon’s home, but when she arrived, she immediately began to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry his feet with her hair. Simon didn’t say it out loud, but he thought to himself, If this man was really a prophet, he would have known who and what manner of woman this is that is touching him. She’s a sinner. Jesus did know everything about this woman, but he didn’t treat her like the others. Her sins are many (Luke 7:47).
Have you ever for a moment thought you were better than someone else? I know I have and I can only imagine the looks this woman got by these ‘religious folks’. I’m sure everybody in that city knew her business. They probably thought she wasn’t ‘worthy’ to touch Jesus. This does not pertain to all Christians, but like certain Pharisees, we sometimes only teach or preach to impress others and not to help others. We study to teach the word, but we never study to become the word. Like the rich young ruler, we are so proud of ourselves. We’re proud that we don’t commit adultery, kill, steal, bear false witness, cheat or dishonor our parents, but we still lack one thing (Luke 18:20-22).
This woman was an outcast. She was rejected and shunned by religious leaders. No one really wanted her there. Sometimes we are just like Simon. We know other people’s sins, but we don’t see our own. We’re like the blind that have eyes yet cannot see. We know how to look clean on the outside, but refuse to become clean on the inside. And even if we ‘don’t do the things we used to do’, we sometimes forget what we once did or who we once were. We forget how long we were slaves to sin. This is why God told the Israelites that if they forgot and left a sheaf while gathering their harvest in the field to not go back and pick it up, but to leave it for the poor, the stranger, the orphan, the widow and the fatherless. This was a reminder to them that they were once slaves in Egypt. This was His way of humbling them and reminding them what HE did for them (Deuteronomy 24:19-22).
I think sometimes we forget that we were saved by grace and not by goodness. Trust me. Our good is not good enough. I believe that, as Christians, we have an opportunity to be like a gate or a door for others to God, but at times we have only let certain people in while shutting out others. Forgive us, Lord.
This woman, to me, was more pure and honest than Simon and his invited guests. Yeah, she was probably a mess, but she came to Jesus because she was tired of that mess. She wanted change. She wanted something different. Her tears were tears of repentance. She submitted to Him. She honored Him. She worshipped Him. She anointed His feet with ointment, which wasn’t cheap. It cost her something. All Simon did was open his house, but this woman opened her heart. She gave Jesus all and her faith moved Him. He had to forgive her sins.
Well…now they were mad that Jesus forgave her sins. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgives sin also? (Luke 7:49). Have you ever taken a medication that is supposed to cure one thing, but it can harm something else? When Jesus forgave her sins, she wasn’t just free from her sins, but she was free from the effects of sin. They really didn’t understand what had just taken place. Had they understood, they would have been rejoicing with her. Had they understood, they would have repented of pride and repented for their thoughts.
I think one of the reasons why people get angry when God does something for someone else is because they think God should have done it for them instead. They behave like the eldest son who got angry when his father celebrated the prodigal son’s return. They feel that because of the things you’ve done in your past that you don’t qualify for a party (Luke 15:28-30). You’re not good enough. You don’t deserve a husband or a wife. You don’t deserve that promotion. You don’t deserve to be blessed. And sometimes they get angry because they don’t understand what the father told the eldest son. All that I have is yours (Luke 15:31).
I know the body has many parts, but let us not forget that we are one body in Christ. Let us be careful of how we treat one another. Let us not look down on one another because although you may be standing today, it may be you that fall tomorrow. Be careful.
Let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation) ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12, AMP.
So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that” – let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12, TLB.