Deuteronomy 7:18,19 – You shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharoah and to all Egypt, the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out.
How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. My wife could tell you how forgetful I am. I drove to work one day. It was a very busy day, and I did have a lot to occupy my mind. I enjoyed the walk home, but when we sat down to supper and looked out on the driveway, we both said, "Where's the car?" I had forgotten that I had taken it to work and had walked home; the car was still sitting in the car park at work.
In the Old Testament, the Book of Deuteronomy frequently calls on God's people to remember. What it most often has in mind is the Exodus deliverance. God's people had been in a hopeless situation, powerless to free themselves. And God had stepped in and delivered them with a mighty hand and an outstreched arm.
At Passover time in particular, the Israelites remembered how God had redeemed them from bondage. Passover was to be for them "a day of remembrance" (Exodus 12:14). Remembering was not just recalling something that happened long ago and far away. Through memory, as one scholar has said, "the past is brought into the present with compelling power." We need this kind of memory so that we can experience God, not just as the one who redeemed his people in ancient times, but as the one who has redeemed us and who can come into our lives today with compelling power.
Prayer: O Lord, our memories can be very short. It is so easy to forget all you have done for us. As members of your people, we remember the great acts of divine redemption recorded in Scripture. As individuals we remember how you have redeemed us, how you have been present and active in our lives to save, to protect, to guide and to help us. Lord, we remember, and we give thanks. Amen.