Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deut 6:12)
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses is talking to the second generation of Jews that came out of Egypt. God had brought them out of slavery because of His grace and the promises He made to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The first generation had forgotten all that God had done for them and had been severely disciplined by God. They were not allowed to enter the land God had promised them, but instead died in the wilderness. This was true even though they were God’s chosen people.
Now the children of that disobedient generation were about to enter the land. Moses is telling them not to do the same thing their fathers had done. Simply put, their fathers had forgotten how He had made them His people. How He had brought them out of slavery. How He had defeated their enemies.
With this new generation, God is reminding them of the covenant He had made with them. If they remembered Him and were faithful to Him, He would bless them. If they forgot Him and thus become disobedient towards Him, He would discipline them.
God tells them to remember Him and even to teach their children of these things. They needed to tell their children so that their children would also know all that God had done and so that they would not forget Him either.
Of course, later the Jews would also forget God. What we see here in Deuteronomy 6 is the importance of remembering what God has done for His people. What we also see is how prone we our to forget these things.
A few years ago, I remember in the GES magazine how Bob Bryant had some articles about the Lord’s Supper. What I remember about them is how his church used the Lord’s Supper to focus upon the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I think about Deuteronomy 6 I can’t help but realize how the Lord’s Supper is such an great opportunity to remember Him – not to forget – what He has done.
The Lord’s death is the basis of the New Covenant, of which we who are believers enjoy many benefits. In this way, it is just like Deuteronomy 6, where God is reminding the Jews about to enter the land of the covenant He had made with them. He tells them, “Don’t forget Me! Don’t forget what I have done for you.”
When Jesus ate the first Lord’s Supper He told His disciples to eat it in remembrance of Him. When we drink the wine/juice of the Lord’s Supper we remember His death. When we eat the bread we remember that we are a part of the body of Christ (1 Cor 10). All of this is because of His grace and what He has done. He has given us eternal life and the privilege of serving Him as part of His body. He has conquered all of our enemies, including death. In His grace we can serve Him and receive eternal rewards.
As free grace people, we of all people proclaim the grace of God and what He has done. We know that He has given us the gift of eternal life that we can never lose. We will be His children forever, no matter what the future holds. But how easy it is to forget. The first generation of Jews did. The following generations did as well. We can too. We can get to the point where what God has done for us does not have any significant impact on hour lives.
Certainly when we take the Lord’s Supper we should remind ourselves of what God has done. But certainly we should do it every day of our lives. We should tell our children, our friends, our families. We should talk about it when we lie down and when we rise in the morning. May we never forget what God’s grace has done for us!