And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” –Exodus 20:1
I love a mountaintop experience; I mean a real hike up the mountain that involves planning, challenge, hard work, sweat, a few stumbles, a full backpack, and my favorite hiking companion. My husband, Jim, and I have covered many trail miles over the years and just can’t get enough of that mountaintop experience. Of course, we’re not talking Mt. Everest (yet), but we’ve seen some beautiful sights from mountain peaks across the country and both agree that some of our most amazing “God experiences” happen on the mountain.
Moses might agree. After leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses and the people came to the desert in Sinai. There the people camped in front of the mountain while Moses went to meet with God and acted as a go-between for God and the people. After one of these encounters, Moses brought the people some instructions from God, what we call the Ten Commandments. However, before beginning, God reminded them of two important things: Who He is and what He did for them. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
I’ve always been surprised at how easily the people of Israel forgot the LORD and the things He did for them. The Old Testament is riddled with the phrases “and the people did evil in the sight of the Lord,” and “the Israelites again forsook the Lord.” I don’t get it! How could the very people who witnessed the devastating plagues in Egypt, who walked on dry ground between two walls of water, and who followed a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day into the promised land forget and forsake the very One who made it happen?
Sadly, we’re no different in our generation. We also easily forget what God has done for us and return to our complaints. We forget the peace instead of pain, the restored relationship, and the endless answered prayers. God is I AM. He is our deliverer. He is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Maybe the journey from bondage to freedom causes short-term memory loss. Somewhere between the excitement of the journey and the reality of the road before us, we forget where we’ve come from and forsake the One who delivered us. Today, take some time to re-chart your course.
1. What demonstrations of God’s goodness in your life have you forgotten?
2. What steps can you take to overcome this “short-term memory loss”?