Let's look back in history to the time when the Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai. It was the month of Tammuz, the fourth on the Hebrew calendar. Moses went to the top of the mountain to talk with God and was long in returning to their camp. Impatience set in as the children of Israel were eager for immediate gratification. They asked Aaron to help them "make gods" who would go before them. What could have possessed them to sin in this way? They went so far as to give Aaron all their gold earrings received from the Egyptians as plunder so they could be used to form a gold calf.
We are presently in the month of Tammuz and must learn from the mistakes made by the children of Israel. Their desire for immediate satisfaction was so strong that they forgot to look back at the last three months and remember the way God performed miraculous wonders among them. He had freed them from bondage in Egypt, arranged for them to plunder the Egyptians, led them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and opened the Red Sea so that they could walk through it unharmed. They watched the Lord fight for them as the Egyptians who pursued them were covered by the waters of the Red Sea. After their crossing, Miriam and Moses led them in a victory song that asked, "Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" and declaring, "The Lord reigns for ever and ever!" (Exodus 15:11, 18) As they traveled, they saw the Lord make bitter waters sweet and were fed manna and quail from heaven. They watched water come from a rock when they camped at Rephidim. And they witnessed the defeat of the Amalekites and the building of the victory altar named "The Lord is My Banner" or "Jehovah Nissi." The Psalmist mourns their forgetfulness: "They did not remember His power--the day He redeemed them from the oppressor." (Psalm 78:42)
There is a reason why God's Word repeats over and over again the word "Remember." Deuteronomy 32:7 is one of many such verses: "Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you." Yet, God is a Redeemer and continues to encourage us to remember His power and His compassion. He wants us to use this month of Tammuz to look back on our own lives so that we can remember what He has done. This is important for us as individuals and for us as the nation of America.
As we review and contemplate the events of our lives, we can see how they are linked together. In doing this, we can discern the plan that God has for our lives. It is important to remember the battles we have fought, the blessings we have received, and the prophetic words that have been spoken over our lives. Each of us has a story that is to be included in God's plans and purposes for our lives. We want to avoid the snare of the golden calf by remembering the things that God has done and the promises that He has made. We cannot allow fear, insecurity, or impatience to overtake us for God is a covenant-keeping God, unchanging and faithful. He does things in His way and in HIs perfect timing.
Jonathan Cahn, a voice of wisdom for our times, wrote about remembering in his monthly devotional. In the May issue he wrote: "If an individual loses his memory, then he also loses his identify, and his ways, and his future. Thus, by erasing the past, one can create an altered future...And if you can rewrite the history concerning God, His Word, Messiah, the Gospel--you can create an un-Christian, anti-Christian future...In a time such as this, with massive forces seeking to erase remembrance, the past, and the foundations of God--we must all the more consciously set our task at remembering, all the more grounded in the Word, all the more rooted in our faith, and closer in prayer. This month, make this your aim."
Let us "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2) Let us remember our past and trust in God's goodness, faithfulness, and power. Let us be assured that God is using our life stories as testimonies of His goodness and faithfulness. And while we wait for His perfect timing, let us worship Him. As we worship the Lord, we affirm His perfect plan for us and declare to all of heaven and earth that He alone is worthy of our praise.
Joan E. Mathias