“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
“To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
- The human memory is corrupt and perverse by sin as much as any part of man, as it will remember bad things much more vividly and longer than good things, providing a basis for bitterness, hatred, revenge, etc. A sinful internal mechanism causes us to forget good things and remember evil things, as our heart dictates (Jer 17:9).
- Consider a man having endured a severe heart attack, quadruple bypass surgery, and going home with every intention of following the careful instructions from his doctor and dietician about the changes he must make in diet and lifestyle to avoid further trouble or death. In just a few weeks of improved health, he has returned to much or all of his previous negative habits. No pain, no memory. No authoritative reminder, no memory.
- Consider the true saying that we have about many things – out of sight, out of mind. We forget what we cannot or do not see. This is especially true of good and virtuous things. Without strong reminders, we forget.
- Many things we learn, we may forget, as much of our academic instruction that is only retained until the test.
- If you are not careful with preaching, you will forget the most important things: the devil will snatch it away.
- God has given many benefits; do not forget them: God has given commandments, remember and keep them.
- God gave you an empty memory, but now it is full of all kinds of junk and only some little truth and wisdom.
- Forgetfulness is part of unfaithfulness, which we despise in a chief butler and men (Ge 40:23; 41:9; Pr 25:19).
- Forgetfulness is part of unfaithfulness, which we despise in Israel’s history (Judges 8:34; Ps 78:42; 106:7,21).
- Forgetfulness is part of foolishness, which we are amazed by in the life of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:27-33).
- Forgetfulness is part of wickedness, as Joash by killing Jehoiada’s son to his own destruction (II Chr 24:22).
- Forgetfulness is part of wickedness, as Hezekiah in not returning to God the benefit obtained (II Chr 32:25).
- God has made His wonderful works to be remembered, which commends them to the utmost (Psalm 111:4).
- It is appalling to God (and men) that we remember trivial items and forget the infinite God (Jeremiah 2:32).
- Carnality or fruitlessness shows spiritual nearsightedness and forgetfulness of salvation (II Pet 1:9).
- Gospel, or practical, salvation depends on a person keeping truth in memory (I Cor 15:2,14,17-19).
- Whatever the wicked see of God from His plain revelation, they will not retain it (Romans 1:28).
- The happiness that Lady Wisdom can bring a man depends on him retaining her (Proverbs 3:18).
- God judges in proportion to privileges granted, so we are required to remember more (Luke 12:48).
- Approaching judgment should cause us to remember the commandments of God (Malachi 4:4).
- In hell you can remember your good life from God that never produced repentance (Luke 16:25).
- Moses’ told Israel not to forget God’s works but to teach children (De 4:9,23; 6:12; 8:11,19; 32:18).
- Men and nations that forget God shall surely be turned into hell (Job 8:11-15; Psalm 9:17; 50:22).
- False teachers come up with all sort of means to cause men to forget God (Jer 23:27; Is 30:10-11).
- It is a terrible thing to have your faults exposed by God’s word and go away and forget (Jas 1:24).
- Forgetting God will bring His judgment against your wise and diligent efforts (Isaiah 17:10-11; Jer 3:20-21; 13:25; 18:15-17; Ezek 22:12-16; 23:35; Hosea 4:6; 8:14; 13:6-8).
- Paul warned the Hebrews of severe judgment, if they let gospel matters slip (Hebrews 2:1-4).
- Much of preaching is reminding saints of what they already know, as Peter did (II Pet 1:12-15; 3:1).
- Paul kindly explained that repeating himself was not grievous and also safe for his hearers (Phil 3:1).
- A good minister is one that reminds the brethren of basic Bible doctrines and prophesies (I Tim 4:6).
- Solomon admitted that David had warned him to retain his fatherly instruction, which advice and warning he repeated to his own son (Proverbs 4:4; 3:1,3; 4:5-6,13,21; 6:20-23; 7:3).
- Ceremonies like the Passover were to help Israel remember God’s great deliverance (Exodus 13:3,14-16; Deut 16:1-3,12; Esther 9:28; John 10:22).
- The weekly Sabbath, a unique sign to Israel only, was also to remind them of Egypt (Deut 5:12-15).
- The Lord’s Supper’s design is to remember His death until He comes (I Cor 11:24-26; Luke 22:19).
- God required a blue fringe on garments to help Israel remember His holiness (Numbers 15:39-40).
- David’s Psalms refer to remembering God’s works (I Chron 16:12; Ps 63:6; 77:10-11; 105:5; 143:5).
- David’s Psalms also exhort to remembering the house of God or Jerusalem (Psalm 137:1,5-7).
- Elihu instructed Job to clear His mind of quarrelling rebellion by remembering God (Job 36:21-26).
- Past deliverances can save from fear, if remembered (De 7:17-19; 8:2; Ps 4:1; Matt 16:9; Mk 8:18).
- Remembering God’s nature, power, and works can also save you from fear (Neh 4:14; Psalm 20:7).
- Past deliverances can teach you liberality toward others, if remembered (Deuteronomy 15:12-15).
- Past mercies can reveal the righteousness of the LORD, if they are remembered (Micah 6:5).
- Past provision should save you from pride, if you remember it was the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
- Past forgiveness of your sins should cause you to be forgiving, if remembered (Matthew 18:21-35).
- Past sins against God can save from pride, if remembered (Deut 9:6-7; Ezek 16:61,63; 20:43; 36:31).
- The insanity of idolatry can cause thankfulness for truth, if remembered (Isaiah 44:21; II Thes 2:13).
- Others’ failures defeat prideful disobedience, if remembered (De 9:5-7; Luke 17:32; Ro 11:19-24).
- Solomon warned to remember the days after death and how many there are to live right (Eccl 11:8).
- Solomon warned youth to remember their Creator while they were young and strong (Eccl 12:1).
- Remembering God’s purposes and severity can keep us humble and obedient (Isaiah 47:7-11).
- There is mercy from God upon and toward those who remember Him (Isaiah 64:5; Mal 3:16).
- Though having been told, the disciples needed to be reminded of His resurrection (Luke 24:6).
- Jesus prepared His apostles for lives of persecution by asking them to remember His (John 15:20).
- It is only by remembering Bible prophecies that we can appreciate their fulfillment (John 16:4; Matt 26:75; Luke 22:61; 24:8; John 2:22; 12:16; Acts 11:16).
- Vigilance depends on remembering warnings of what could happen e.g. false teachers (Acts 20:31).
- Remembering the words of Jesus help make giving a pleasure (Acts 20:35; Gal 2:10; Heb 13:16).
- It is our duty and privilege to remember apostolic ordinances as Paul delivered them (I Cor 11:2).
- Remembering we are Gentiles help us appreciate God’s election (Eph 2:11; Ezekiel 16:22,43).
- Confusion in doctrine comes from forgetting past teaching (II Thessalonians 2:5; Jude 1:17).
- True Christianity remembers and considers others in their respective situations (Heb 13:3; Col 4:18).
- Ministers must be remembered to follow their example and doctrine (Heb 13:17; I Thess 5:12-13).
- Remember mercy and delight in mercy, for Judas did not to his own damnation (Psalm 109:16).
- David remembered God’s word for his love of them (Ps 119:16,52,61,83,93,109,139,141,153,176).
- Jonah remembered the Lord, when His soul fainted within him inside the whales’ belly (Jonah 2:7).
- Sin indicates that a person has no fear of God and has forgotten his future judgment (Lam 1:9).
- If you do not have God’s great goodness in your memory, how will you utter it to others (Ps 145:7)?
- Fornication and adultery result from a girl or woman forgetting the guide of her youth (Prov 2:17).
- Chastening must be remembered for its holy purpose and good ends, lest you faint (Hebrews 12:5).
- Ministers must remember their calling and stir up the gift they have been given (II Timothy 1:6).
- Asaph’s horrible predicament came by forgetting spiritual reality of those he observed (Ps 73:1-3).
- Remembering the sacrifices of first love would have settled the Hebrew believers (Heb 11:32-39).
- How can we possibly hold fast apostolic doctrine and traditions without memory (II Thess 2:15)?
- How can we give reasonable answers of truth to question, if we forget (Prov 22:17-21; I Pet 3:15)?
- Some things can be relatively forgotten, for God will yet do greater things (Isaiah 43:18; 46:5-13).
- Many things cloud and control our minds and memories, so be diligent and vigilant to remind them.
- Some things need to be forgotten, like our past sinful lives in Egypt, contrary to Israel (Num 11:5).
- Some things need to be forgotten, like the labor and sorrow of life by enjoyment (Eccl 5:18-20).
- Some things need to be forgotten, like your ancestors; replace them with descendants (Ps 45:10).
- Some things need to be forgotten, like our past accomplishments in our faith in Christ (Phil 3:12-14).
- Simplify life, reduce the noise, remember the past, and meditate (Ps 46:10; 42:4,6; 143:5; Rev 2:5).
- What do you remember at night? David remembered God’s name (Psalm 4:4; 63:6; 77:6; 119:55).
- God told Israel to remember by considering and asking about their history (De 9:7-14 cp Mal 3:16).
- Are you useful helping others remember the Lord, or rather yourself and circumstances (Ps 45:17)?
- The Bible is a doctrinal and historical collection of things to remember, so you must be reading it.
- Every assembly (think every song, prayer, scripture, sentence, exchange) is to stir up your memory.
- If the pastor repeats an explanation or a lesson, be thankful yourself and remember others’ needs.
- We have more means to review preaching than any before us, so our memories have no excuse.
- Logical reasoning about God’s dealing with men requires remembering His nature (Job 4:7).
- What you do by way of example and instruction creates children’s memories (Ps 78:7; Jer 17:2).
- Consider a recent sermon related to this one by brother Newell Eastland, “Spiritual Active Listening.”
- It is fair and scriptural to tell God you have not forgotten Him and admit His omniscience (Ps 44:17-21
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: Doers of the Word.
- Sermon Outline: Parable of the Sower.
- Sermon Outline: Spiritual Adultery.
Lead Me to Calvary
Words by Jennie E. Hussey
Music by William J. Kirkpatrick
1. King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.
2. Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed,
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.
3. Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.
4. May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.
Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.