"You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath Day," Deut. 5:15.
The book of Deuteronomy uses the word "remember" at least on fifteen different occasions. Most of these are instructions from God to His people(that includes us today) to remember what He has done for them. Their are multitudes of wonderful reasons to "remember" what God has done. For me, it calms me and reminds me that I am puny, but so what! He is great and I am His. The psychological and emotional relief that God gives those who dwell on Him are enormous and important, yet, it seems, there is another important implication of this word "remember" and its impact on our children and nation.
When Gresham Machen appeared before a Senate committee in the 1920's, he warned them that they should carefully consider the impact of federalizing education(which wasn't done until 1980). Machen admonished the Senate to consider the disaster of uniform, government run education. He mentioned the two prominent examples of this type of education: Germany and Russia. Think of that, Germany was preHitler, yet, because of uniform, government run education, they were ready for a man like that. It is an important principle that like things reproduce like things. Dogs give birth to dogs, rats to rats and government education to government drones.
One thing in particular, that government education despises in this present day, is history. We are told that it is not important to remember by rote certain dates and names and places. We do not need to study the great people of history and the important wars and ideas that have shaped our civilization. Our children are not taught about the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening is foundational to our country and was lead by the great pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards and the great evangelist George Whitfield. This was a spiritual awakening/revival that spread throughout the 13 colonies with lightening speed. Men and women repented of their sin and bowed the knee when they remembered what Jesus Christ had done for them. This revival paved the way for the American Revolution. Our children are not taught systematically through the constitution or the Declaration of Independence. They are not taught about our founding fathers and the founding principles. They are not taught that our system is based upon the concept of the depravity of man and his innate sinfulness. This is the reason we have a separation of powers. Our founders remembered. Not only did they quote the Bible far more than any other book, but they quoted the book of Deuteronomy far more than any book of the Bible.
God's instruction for the Hebrews was to remember what He had done for them by liberating them out of the house of bondage: Egypt. God instituted the Passover as an 8 day festival to remember what He had done for them. Jesus taught us to remember Him by observing the Lord's Supper in the same way. He taught that in light of the Passover. He was its fullfilment but it does not mean we forget what came before! When we remember the Passover it adds depth to the Lord's Supper that really makes it come alive. When we remember the Sabbath it helps us to understand even more what the writer of Hebrews is talking about when he instructs us about Jesus being our Sabbath rest.
Our day in age is past that though, aren't we. We are doing just fine without remembering what God has done, what our history is and where we came from. We are free and unhindered by the rules and regulations of the past, we have progressed past the need to remember from rote the wisdom of our elders. Oh, the chains of our bondage are rattling fast. Egypt is our future if we do not remember.
Remember, learn, live and love the Gospel.