This past Saturday, September 11th marked the 20th anniversary of the tragedy due to a terrorist attack on our nation. I noticed that the news as well as social media was flooded with images and video of that horrific day. There have been posts on social media of a picture of the twin towers that were destroyed on 9/11/01 with the words above the picture saying, “It appears too many people are forgetting.” After reading through some of the thread of comments from thousands of people, several caught my attention that spoke of the American people forgetting the mass destruction, the loss of lives caused by such a terroristic act.
Forgetfulness. It is something that plagues us all. We have special dates set aside for us to remember what happened on a particular day in history. Such as in the case of 9/11, every year since the incident in 2001, there has been a special ceremony to reflect on what happened that fateful day, likened to many other days set aside for that specific purpose. The words that are well-known associated with 9/11 is, “We will never forget.” Yet, it is something that too many people forget, until we see another post, or hear about it on the news, we don’t normally think about it. This past Friday, 9/11, with all the news and social media posts focused on that fateful day, we thought about it, and then what happens is we get caught up with the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day activities. We get busy with our lives with our responsibilities to tend to and it will take another year before we really think about it again. As I thought about this and considering the spiritual applications, it is quite interesting to see occasions even of great defeat and/or great victory so easily forgotten.
The Israelites were notorious for this. In Psalm 106, David noted that it was not only the Israelites, but also placed himself in the same category. Notice verses 6-7: “We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, but rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.” The sin identified by David is their forgetting to remember. How often do we do the same thing today? Forgetting all the Lord has done for us, not just the blessings bestowed on us physically, but especially spiritually. Not only did the Israelites forget the Lord’s deliverance from Egyptian captivity, they also forgot His bountiful provision (cf. Psalm 106:10-15). We know of the complaints that the Israelites had of just about anything and everything. And not only did the Israelites complain about what God had graciously provided, they so far-removed God from their minds so as to replace Him with an idol, namely “a calf in Horeb that they had made and worshiped the molded image” (Psalm 106:19). Yes, as David said in verse 21, “they forgot God their Savior.” They forgot the One who had done great and wondrous works.
We speak of memorials that have been erected for us to REMEMBER someone or some event that took place. There have been many memorials erected over time, and one that came to mind from the scriptures is in 1 Samuel 7 where Samuel takes a stone and names it, “Ebenezer” placing it at a battle site between Mizpah and Shen saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (cf. 1 Samuel 7:12,13). Ebenezer means “stone of help.” Samuel did this because it was his desire for the people to NEVER FORGET how God had helped them as they humbled themselves before Him. Prior to their repentance and God’s deliverance, the people were sinful and during this time they were a broken nation. They certainly didn’t deserve God’s deliverance. Yet, the Lord heard their plea through the prophet Samuel and the sacrifice offered and saved the people from the Philistines. When Samuel raised the Ebenezer, he was signifying that such was a turning point in the history of the children of Israel. For the past 20 years they had FORGOTTEN God. They needed to return to the Lord with all their hearts, put away the foreign gods (cf. 1 Samuel 7:3); they needed to prepare their hearts for the Lord to serve Him only, to have them in their hearts to NEVER FORGET how helpless they were without God. There would be more dangers, toils and snares that would come their way. The raising of the Ebenezer was significant because it would help remind the children of Israel of the great stone of help that came in their desperate time of need and how important it would be to REMEMBER and STAY TRUE and FAITHFUL to the Lord.
Friends, JESUS instituted a memorial that is to be taken on the first day of EVERY WEEK (cf. Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). We see this in the book of Acts 20:7 that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to “break bread” which is the Lord’s Supper. The sad fact is we can be just as guilty as the Israelites in having our own “golden calves” that capture our hearts and minds, which replaces the Lord, who is supposed to be our first love, with our affections focused steadfastly and firmly on Him (cf. Matthew 6:19-21,24, 33; Col. 3:1-3; Heb. 12:1,2). How often are those who claim to be Christians, pass up the opportunity to gather on the first day of the week to remember Jesus as He commanded to remember His death, burial and resurrection? How often during the week do the “golden calves” of the world push the Lord from our hearts and minds and we FORGET His love, His mercy, His provisions, His grace, our salvation? Yes, “it appears too many are forgetting.” Forgetting the Lord our Savior, treating Him as a passing fad, only given time for an occasional weekend visit, if He is even remembered then. As a Christian, may we NEVER FORGET how helpless we were without God. We were certainly NOT deserving of God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Jesus is certainly our STONE OF HELP, yea the CHIEFCORNERSTONE of our lives.
Friends, I certainly do not want to diminish from the horrific terroristic act that happened on 9/11 or any other fateful day and the lives that were lost, but the ONE that should NEVER be forgotten and for us to strive ever to REMEMBER EVERY DAY is the day Jesus gave His life on Calvary’s cross for our sins (cf. John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8), only to buried for three days, to rise victorious from the dead, resurrected to give us hope (cf. 1 Cor. 15).
These words are given to stir our minds by way of remembrance (cf. 2 Peter 1:12-15). May we “never forget.”
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂