Today we’re going to talk about memory. We’re going to look at what the Bible says about remembrance, and how to practice remembering God’s faithfulness and goodness. Hear me on this: The importance of remembering what God has done in our lives is vital to how we follow Jesus.
Practicing what the Bible says about remembrance is a practice of slowing down, a practice that will shape your heart to keep God at the forefront of every day.
So right now, I want you to slow down my sister. Still your heart, quiet your mind. I know, you have a day surrounding you full of important people, pressing tasks, competing desires. But for the next 10 minutes we’re together, I want you to just breathe.
In and out.
Stay in this moment with me.
Today we’re going to see what the Bible has to say about remembrance through the story of the Exodus.
By looking at one command Moses gives Israel in their run to freedom, we’ll discover the importance of remembering what God has done in our lives, and exactly how we are to remember.
God’s faithfulness and goodness abounds in your life dear woman. Let’s slow down together and see it.
Download your Devotion Question PDF here: How to Remember God’s Goodness & Faithfulness
What the Bible Says About Remembrance
The Bible has quite a lot to say about remembrance, so much so it might surprise you the emphasis God places on remembering His goodness and faithfulness.
But the Bible’s look at memory and remembrance is quite different than how we practice remembering in our modern day world. Modern remembering, if you operate in circles anything like mine, usually looks something like this:
“Do you remember when?”
A memory is tossed out in the open air, maybe by a family member looking to sweeter times, or a friend recounting high school days. But then what happens to that memory?
It quickly falls to the ground, fading back into the past.
So here’s the deal:
Stopping to remember, actually remember, should be a significant act. It isn’t something that should be left sitting in a coffee shop corner or ignored diary entries.
Today’s story, the Exodus, is the beginning of Israel’s story of freedom, and it’s recounted again and again throughout Scripture. It’s repeated whenever the Bible wants to say something about remembrance, so we’re going to pay attention to that day of freedom.
Exodus 13:3 says this, “Then Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.’”
Remember when I told you to slow down, to be with me in this moment? That’s what Moses is doing with Israel here. Slowing them down.
Take another breath dear woman, and let’s continue looking at the importance of remembering what God has done in our lives.
- How often do you intentionally practice remembering?
- Returning to memories with significance by telling stories, recounting your testimony, or recording God’s provision?
Download your Devotional Question PDF here: How to Remember God’s Goodness & Faithfulness
Remembering This Day
How often do you find yourself looking back on specific days in your life? Maybe it was your wedding day, or the day your children were born.
Exodus 13 is telling the story of one of those days. A life-changing day for Israel, when God brings them to freedom after 430 years enslaved to a cruel empire, worked to the bone by a ruthless ruler.
So when you read this verse in Exodus 13:3, know the Hebrew people are smack in the middle of, let me tell you, the day of all days. God’s given them freedom and they waste no time getting out of Egypt.
Literally, they have left in the night, are running through the dark. They don’t even take the time to let their bread finish rising!
And so Moses is literally saying to the Hebrew people – “Remember this day!”… in the middle of the day of all days.
Now, if you’re on the way out of slavery, running towards your freedom, are you stopping to think about remembering that moment? No, you’re probably not.
You’re running until you’re free, and then, when you’re safe in bed that night, you think – I’ll always remember this day. But in the middle of it? You’re in full-on survival mode. And maybe that’s you today.
Perhaps you’re not fighting for freedom right now, but I’m guessing you’re fighting what I asked of you at the beginning of this post – to let go and be present. To let go of all that’s pressing in on you.
It’s not easy to slow down, is it?
So, why do it?
Let’s continue the story.
- What today is preventing you from slowing down and focusing on God?
- Is it your to-do list?
- Is it relationships you’re prioritizing above your relationship with God?
- Is it the pressures of your job, or worry about a family member?
Place your hands out, palms up and open, and bring these things before God in prayer.
Remember Your Salvation
Almost every time the Bible is speaking about remembrance, it talks about remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness. For Israel, the day of their salvation from Egypt is the pinnacle of God’s faithfulness.
Moses tells them, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place.”
Moses defines the day as a moment of faithfulness from God: Israel is brought out of Egypt, their house of slavery.
It’s curious language for us reading the story today, because it hints at the story to come, which Israel couldn’t yet see.
After God delivers Israel from Egypt, He leads them to the wilderness. In this wilderness Israel will build the tabernacle – God’s dwelling place – also known as the house of God. The tabernacle will be a daily, visible reminder of God’s faithfulness, God’s presence among the people in each situation, through each season.
Israel is out of the house of slavery. But soon they will reside in the house of God.
But on this day, this moment of Exodus 13:3, Israel has no idea what the next part of their story will hold.
All they know is the salvation at hand.
- How often do you reflect on the next part of your story by simply looking at today’s story?
- How often do you appreciate present moments for how they will play into future days?
Moses calls them to remember that day of freedom, little does Israel know how valuable that memory will be.
- What, right now, do you feel in bondage to?
- Is it what you’re struggling to give over to God from the above question?
While you don’t yet know the next part of your story, you can trust that God is faithfully working now to prepare you for your future. Rest secure that you can place your faith in God.
How the Bible Says to Practice Remembrance
So, we’re smack in the middle of a day. Israel’s day is the day of all days, and your day is pressing in on you, no matter how much you push it to the periphery during our time together.
What is Moses’ advice to them and to you?
How should we practice remembering?
“No leavened bread shall be eaten.”
That’s it sister. That’s the advice. What does the Bible say about remembrance? Don’t eat leavened bread.
Obviously, we gotta unpack this a little, but trust me, it’s not as complicated as you think.
Remembrance and Unleavened Bread
We already know about leavened and unleavened bread, because we know that Israel left in the night without time to let bread rise before it bakes. Exodus 12:39 tells us that Israel is in such a rush to get to freedom that they take their dough, bake it quickly, and stuff it in their packs on the way out.
So Moses telling Israel to stay away from leavened bread?
Well, it’s kind of like no duh! We don’t have a choice! That’s all we have at hand.
And that’s the point dear woman.
What the Bible is saying about remembrance here is this:
Make it a part of your every day.
Place it in your hand, let it sit at your side.
Don’t let remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness be a memory that slips through your fingers.
It’s right in front of you – take, and eat.
Unleavened bread continues to be at hand for Israel from this moment forward in their story.
God commands this unleavened bread be a part of Israel’s Passover celebration, 24- hours spent remembering the Exodus. Then, there is a whole Festival of Unleavened Bread, which takes place for 7 days after Passover.
Unleavened bread is what God tells Israel to use when they consecrate priests for the tabernacle and temple. It’s also what Israel uses for various offerings brought before God in the tabernacle and temple.
- What’s all around you, dear woman of God?
If you search the blogosphere for practices on how to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness, you’re bound to find endless lists on great memory verses, journal prompts, guides for writing out your story. All of these are wonderful tools, and at one point or another, have their place in our lives.
But today, I want your slowing down and remembering to be a practice based on what you have at hand. I want your remembering to be your unleavened bread, what’s all around you.
What the Bible says about remembrance goes hand-in-hand with specific practices. But these practices should reflect what God has done for you, how God has saved you.
For me, it’s always a picture God paints in the sky. When I was having pre-wedding jitters, I looked out my window to see pink and orange splashed across the morning sky. When dealing with the overwhelming weight of college, I walked out from work to a breath-taking California sunset. This very morning, after a night, a month, of insomnia, I walked to the coffee shop to write this very post, and saw a beautiful Northwest sky, sun rising above evergreen trees.
A reminder of hope.
A reminder to remember. God is good. God is faithful. It’s all around me.
- What’s all around you, dear woman of God?
- What is your unleavened bread?
- How, in your life, has God revealed Himself to you?
It could be a big moment, or small moments. If you think God has never shown Himself to you, I want you to pause, and reflect on that. It’s a lie from the enemy, who wants you to believe God isn’t with you. He is, my sister.
- Ask Him to open your eyes to how you can see Him where you are today.
Though we near the end of our time together today, I want this talk about memory to be something you remember. My hope and my prayer is that God brings to mind what you have at hand – what your reminder to remember is.
Israel often fails to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in their story. Because of this, they frequently find themselves back in the house of slavery instead of living free in the house of God.
They return to bondage because they choose to forget the day of their freedom.
They choose to forget to participate in Passover. They choose to forget their unleavened bread.
Choose today to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life. Slow down, and stop a moment.
- What do you have at hand?
- How does it reveal God’s goodness and faithfulness to you?
Until next time, let’s meditate on Psalm 77:11-15 together,
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.”