Have you ever forgotten something; an anniversary or a birthday, a friend you once knew whom you had forgotten until a chance meeting? In the swirl of life, while our minds are full of today, it’s easy to forget yesterday. Our memories fade like an oil painting, and our hindsight is fractured into too many threads. How can we remember the years past when we can’t remember where we left our keys? Some things, however, should not be left unremembered.
Exodus 14:12-14, “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
Exodus 14:21-22, “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
In the book of Exodus, we read about one of the most epic moments in the Bible. Israel had fled Egypt by the leading of God and were hotly pursued by the Egyptian army. They came to the shores of the Red Sea and were trapped. Moses said to his people, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” The sea was miraculously parted, and the people escaped on dry ground: A miracle for the ages. How could anyone ever forget such a thing? How could the power of God ever be diminished in the minds of anyone who witnessed this miracle?
Unfortunately, that is just what happened. Later, we read of the Israelites grumbling about their post-crossing circumstances. They started pining for their bondage, wishing that they had been left in Egypt. Exodus 16: 2-3, “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” The Israelites complained before the miracle at the Red Sea, but unbelievably, complained after their salvation as well. Had they forgotten the Red Sea? Didn’t they remember the pillar of smoke and fire (Exodus 13:21)? What about the mana falling from the sky (Numbers 11:9)? God had taken care of them at every turn, so why did their memories of the miracles of God grow dim?
Our present misfortune will cloud the past. The good things that have happened in our journey can become veiled by the heavy fabric of the present. If we allow ourselves to become consumed by the problems of today, we will forget the victories we have won. We will lament the day and swim in our own sorrow. When in this state, we may become despondent and depressed. Our hope will flee and we will sink into abject despair. Deuteronomy 6:12 says, “Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
What can we do? We can remember the past. Call to memory those victories. Think about the good things God has done for you. Psalm 103:1-2 says, “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:” Every negative thing in our lives is outshined by salvation alone. If our God had never given us anything else, we would still be deeply in His debt. But, He has given us so much more! He has comforted us when we were downcast. He has lifted us out of despair. He was there when we were all alone. He has fought our battles and given us victories! He has healed our diseases. He saved our souls and put a new song in our mouths. There is none other like Him, and He is our friend. Aside from the wonderful benefits in our lives, the benefits in the afterlife will be vast beyond thought. When trying times come, we would do well to remember the things God has done for us. Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”
Moses told the Israelites that they would never again see the Egyptians that pursued them. We see that the miracle of that day was also a promise for the future. God has things well in hand. Our past victories can give us faith for the trying times we face, while also giving us hope for tomorrow. Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
We can learn a lesson from the Israelites who couldn’t see beyond their present circumstances. The memory of a miracle will feed our faith. Commemorate the mercy you have seen. God has been good to you! We will face adversity, and we will be tried. But, a good recollection of the many blessings we have received can help our thoughts and lift us up, giving us courage to face another day. As we face the raging sea and the waves roll before us, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He will never leave us! He will never forsake us! Our past has proven it.