“So the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” (Psalm 78:6-7, New Living Translation)
We often joke about forgetfulness, but deep down inside, many of us are attempting to make light of something we really fear. The older we get, the more we wonder if we will be one of those whose memory fades away. We read statistics and ponder what they mean. Is that why I forgot that old family friend’s name last week we wonder.
Not all forgetfulness is age related. It affects everyone to some degree, regardless of age. How many times have you excused yourself by saying, “It slipped my mine”? Have you forgotten a loved one’s birthday or anniversary? Forgot to pay a bill? Or go to a doctor’s appointment? What about your children? Have they forgotten to complete chores or do their homework?
Neglectful and Forgetful
Sometimes our forgetfulness is just a minor aggravation, but other times it causes more serious consequences.
Many times, forgetfulness develops from neglectfulness. We grow careless, ignoring the guilty feelings that prod us to take action. Eventually, we completely forget things we once considered important.
When I read the Old Testament, I find myself amazed at how easily the Israelites forgot the many miracles God performed in their behalf. They didn’t just forget His miracles—they forgot God. Time and again, they turned to the powerless idols of the surrounding nations instead of Almighty God. He didn’t just “slip their minds.” They put Him completely out of their minds.
Numbers 15:38-40 tells us that God instructed the people of Israel to put tassels, or fringes, on the bottom of their garments and attach them with a blue cord. This wasn’t a decorative detail; it was to serve as a visual reminder to obey God.
“Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord. When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the LORD instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God” (NLT).
Is it possible we are as forgetful as the Israelites? Have we allowed the busyness and overwhelming demands of our lives to make us neglectful? The warning God gave in Deuteronomy 4:9 is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. We cannot allow God to “slip our minds.” Not only is our eternal destiny at stake, so is the salvation of our children and grandchildren.
“Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren.” (Deuteronomy 4:9, Christian Standard Bible)
Stay alert. Do not let God slip from your mind.
Prayer: Lord, help me stay alert and on guard. Keep thoughts of You and the marvelous things You have done in my life foremost in my mind. You made me a new creature with Your salvation and gave me the promise of eternal life. I cannot let any of this slip from my mind.