Last Sunday I preached on remembering from Joshua 3-4. The Israelite's crossed the Jordan river (ch. 3) then they set up memorials (a couple piles of 12 large stones taken from the Jordan) as a sign to remember what God did, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever” (4:24).
Joshua didn’t write down every single event that happened (although that would have been really interesting – and really long), rather God inspired Joshua recorded specific events that showcased God’s faithfulness and power. Then, after these specific events, Joshua recorded a particular sign or memorial that was set up to remember that instance of God’s power. Why? So that fragile Israel’s faith in God would grow and their confidence in following their new leader, Joshua would grow.
But, get this, remembering what God did is the link to “all the people of the earth knowing that the hand of the LORD is mighty.” If they forget, the world doesn’t know. Large price tag.
Have you ever heard the hymn, Come, Thou Fount of every blessing? The third verse reads like this:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love:
Take my heart, oh, take and seal it
With Thy Spirit from above.
Rescued thus from sin and danger,
Purchased by the Savior’s blood,
May I walk on earth a stranger,
As a son and heir of God.
That’s a verse about remembering!
Almost all artistic expressions reveal something about the artist and that holds true for songs and hymns too. “Come, Thou Fount of every blessing” is really a song about remembering what God has done for us, and remembering who we are in Christ. It was written by Robert Robinson (1735-1790) as he reflected on a time in his life when God’s grace, love, compassion and forgiveness was unknown to him. He had essentially forgotten God. When he was young, he was “prone to wander” as he found himself in London, far from home, he got caught up in a life of crime, violence and debauchery. Then, when he was 20 years old, he had a divine appointment in hearing George Whitefield preach and was converted. He began reading and studying God’s Word and eventually began to preach. After 8 years of remembering who God was, and who he was in Christ, he wrote “Come, thou Fount of every blessing.”
What do you need to remember about who God is?
What do you need to remember about who you are in Christ?