Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Remember...Don't Forget

In Deuteronomy 25:17-19, the Scriptures state: "Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!" First, I want to make a couple of observations about this text. A) This is the Lord speaking--not some human being. B) What is called for is national retribution and not personal revenge. Exodus 17:8 describes what actually happened. The Amalekites were Bedouin people who attacked the rear of the Israelites and those who were "lagging behind"' the rest. It was probably the old, the young and the weakest. Therefore, God wanted these people who had shown no mercy to receive the punishment that was due them. Many years later God would charge Saul, Israel's first king, with the responsibility of carrying out this order (see 1 Samuel 15:2-3). Even though five hundred years had gone by, God's command stood. He wanted Saul and the Israelites to carryout His orders. Second, having explained the context of this text, [a text out of context, someone said, is a pretext.] I want to use these words, "Remember, don't forget" and share some thoughts for the New Year. Some examples of things that people should "remember and not forget" are: The Jewish people and the Holocaust, Blacks and slavery, Americans and our heritage, families and their ancestry, etc. People who become successful should remember from where they have come and those who have helped them along the way. Some other things that we should "remember and not forget" at the beginning of the New Year are: unfinished business from the past year, lessons to be learned, new resolutions... Third, I want to end by noting an appropriate text: 2 Peter 1:5-7: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love." These seven qualities are supposed to be part of our faith or Christian life--and we should be "possessing these qualities in increasing measure" (v. 8). The Apostle Peter wrote that if we are growing in these qualities, "The will keep up from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 8). Peter goes on to warn, "but if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins" (v. 9). Some might argue that people could not forget something like their salvation, but if this were the case, Peter would not have written this under inspiration. As we enter and progress through the New Year, let us resolve to grow and develop these qualities in our lives. "Remember, do not forget" or you will be "ineffective and unproductive" along with being "nearsighted, blind, and forgetful."

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