By Karlo Janssen
Many a lapel is flowering red these days. November 11 is around the corner. Almost a hundred years ago Flanders fields were soaked with the blood of freedom fighters. Its blood-red poppies now remind us of the price paid for liberty.
Do we understand that price? The price of the countless soldiers who went to fight in distant Europe? The young, who left a concerned mother, maybe a bride-to be? The not-so-young who left a family? Empty spots at a dinner table… Many never came back.
“Lest we forget… we will remember them.”
Did you know memorials are important to God’s people? Abraham building altars, thus claiming for Yahweh the land promised him. Jacob raised the stone that had served him as a pillow. Joshua had stone piles made in and on the banks of the Jordan. Lest the people forgot God’s mighty deeds.
They did forget. Said Isaiah: “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge.” (17:10) Israel forgot God. They ignored Him! God became indignant. And when Israel ignored the reminders sent by the prophets, He sent them away from His presence.
Truth is, we do forget, often. Right? Will you remember, this November 11? Do you remember God, each Sunday? Do you remember God, each day? Or do you forget to touch base with Him? A Bible closed. A prayer not prayed… If we forget, if God’s love goes unanswered, His anger is kindled and it will burn. And does it burn fiercely (Hebrews 12:29).
Remember The Sacrifice
But when we remember again, God remembers His mercy. He overlooks our failure. For there was One who never forgot God, even when faced with the most bitter of deaths. He remembered. God’s anger consumed the Christ so that we might bask in God’s love. Our absentmindedness need not condemn us. Let us strive to remember, assured God will remember us.
It is as Psalm 103 has us sing:
Turn to the Lord, who fails us never,
And seek His face, His strength, forever.
Recall the wonders He has wrought,
the righteous judgments He has taught.
Remember these, you chosen ones,
O Abr’ham’s offspring, Jacob’s sons.
He is the Lord, our God unfailing,
His judgments everywhere prevailing.
He will remember and uphold
His cov’nant made in days of old.
The steadfast words of his command
A thousand generations stand.
Psalm 103:2 & 3, Book of Praise