One of the most frequent commands in Scripture is “Remember!” God knows we are prone to forget. In Scripture, forgetting is considered a moral failure (Deut. 4:23). God is not concerned with everyday forgetfulness like trying to remember where you put your car keys. Rather, He is concerned with deep relational forgetfulness, forgetting who He is and what He has done (Deut. 6:12).
To help Israel remember, God instituted a calendar. Israel’s life would be punctuated by breaks in the year where people would stop their normal work. They would remember God’s deliverance from Egypt through the 10 plagues at Passover (Lev. 23:5). They would remember the haste in which they left Egypt in the Festival of Unleavened Bread (v. 6). They would remember God’s provision at harvest time in the Festivals of Firstfruits and Weeks (vv. 9–20). The first day of the seventh month was a holy day of rest and remembrance marked by the blowing of a ram’s horn (vv. 23–25). The Day of Atonement was a solemn day of fasting and mourning over sin while the priest atoned for the sin of the people (vv. 26–32). Finally, the Festival of Tabernacles commemorated the Lord’s provision after the Exodus (vv. 33–44). These events reminded Israel of who God is and helped pass on that knowledge to their children (v. 43).
These festivals provide important background for many New Testament practices. The Last Supper was held on Passover (Matt. 26:17). The Holy Spirit descended upon the church at Pentecost (Acts 2). Paul describes Jesus as the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep,” pointing to the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20). When we celebrate communion, we remember what Christ has done and anticipate His second coming (1 Cor. 11:25–26).
>> Why not make a remembering calendar of your own? In what ways has God shown His goodness to you and your loved ones? Maybe in addition to celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, we can also celebrate remembering!
Lord, we remember all the ways You have provided for us, comforted us, and opened our eyes to the truth. We are indebted to You for every good thing, and it is a joy to be indebted to a loving God like You!