How often do we forget to be thankful for good things? Recall the comments of Jesus when only one of the ten lepers returned to express thanksgiving for his healing (Luke 17:15-17). In Deuteronomy (Moses’ final exhortation to the people before he dies), he says, “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers.
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart …” (8:1,2).
What kind of remembering are we to do? What memories these people of God had at this time!! We need to be aware that nearly all the adults in the 12 tribes (but not the Levites) who had come out of Egypt had died in the wilderness because of their unfaithfulness. These had witnessed the miracles of the plagues in Egypt, then the most dramatic crossing of the Red Sea on dry land, then the physical nearness of God as they camped beside the mountain. Then came the provision of water, the manna and the quail – and still they complained.
Teenagers reaching the age of 20 might wish to note God held the Children of Israel responsible at that age. Those aged 20 and over had not developed any depth of faith, they wandered and died in the wilderness because they failed to remember and to take to heart all that the Lord their God, the only real God had done. Is there anything we fail to remember? What a tremendous picture the history of the world provides since those days – and now we are surely reaching the climax.
In John’s Gospel we have read of the climax of the life and death of God’s son – and the absolute wonder and drama of his resurrection. John’s 20th chapter ends, “… these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. Remember, our actions show what we believe. Make the time today to read and meditate on the last two chapters of John, it is one of the richest sources of food to stimulate our minds in the whole Bible.