Why Remembering the Past is Just as Important as Looking Ahead to Where God is Leading Us
It's kind of funny the emotions you can go through reading the Old Testament. In some places it's like this constant up and down, up and down, up and down, and before you know it, you're mind is going crazy and you feel like it might explode. Ok, maybe that might just be something that happens to me, but if you've ever read lengths of the stories of the kings who followed God and then didn't or of the Israelites wandering through wilderness going from praising God to hating Him you will probably understand my feelings.
One thing I know is that God is very patient, but in no way do I want to test His patience because after seeing what happened to Kings and prophets and many other people who did so, well let's just say, that's not something I ever want to happen.
Right now I'm in the middle of reading through 2 Kings, and it just blows my mind how they can go from one king completely following after God and destroying all the idols and temples to other gods, to the next king completely disregarding God and worshipping false idols. And it keeps happening over and over. The same thing happened with the Israelites. They believed God would lead them to the Promise Land, but as soon as they were free and faced adversity they wished they could go back to being slaves. Then there was that time Moses went up on the mountain and was gone for a little while, and the Israelites grew impatient, so they decided to make a golden calf and worship that, instead of God who had brought them through so much.
Did they forget how God led them through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night? Did they forget how God split the sea so they could walk across without having to even touch the water, and how God brought the sea back together so that the Egyptians who went after them were drowned? Did they forget how God provided them food to eat and water to drink? Did the kings forget what the people went through to get to the Promised Land? Did they forget God's promise to provide for them and give them favor as long as they obeyed and followed him?
We can so easily look at the lives and stories of these people and go, "What were you thinking?!?" but in reality we do the same exact things. We simply forget. We forget what awesome things God has done in our lives. We forget the things He has promised to us, so long as we follow Him. We forget that God is all-powerful and because we forget we do not fear Him, as we should.
We forget, just like the Israelites did, just like the numerous kings who, instead of following God like their fathers did, chose to completely forsake Him.
I found myself after I had gone through a really tough season asking God to help me to never forget what it felt like during that time. One reason is because I never want to go back there again, but also because I want to never forget what God brought me out of and the joy and peace I now have in Him.
It’s crazy how when we stop and reflect on the past through the lens of how God moved in certain situation we remember the goodness and faithfulness of God, and if He was those things in the past, He will be now and in the future. It is so important to remember the past, not to get stuck in the past, but to use it to say, “Yeah, I know God said this or did this in that situation, so I know He is still good no matter what happens today, in a month, or a year from now.” I pray that we will never forget and turn from God like the kings in the Old Testament did. I pray that we never grow weary like the Israelites who took an 11-day journey and turned it into 40 years. Let us keep our eyes fixed on God and remember that who He was, He still is, and will always be.