“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
Many people who were abused in various ways as children will forget the evil done to them when they grow up and become adults. In one way it helps to forget their past tragedies but in forgetting the past they will sometimes behave in inappropriate ways as adults.
A skilled counsellor is needed to help the abused person recall the wicked experiences they had and recognize that they did not contribute to the sin. They are not to blame for what happened to them so many years ago.
This is important for the abused person to realize. So a poor memory in that context is not good. Sometimes the past needs to be dealt with in order to have a successful adult life.
When the Lord calls on His people to forget the past and not recall it, the advice is given for different reasons. Our past is able to instruct us and help us understand where we may have gone wrong.
However, it is not to sap our energy and leave us powerless to face the future. This is the danger in remembering and dwelling on the past. We learn to live in the present by learning the lessons from the past. Never allow past failure to darken the present or interfere with future opportunities to walk well with the Lord.
The Lord calls attention to Himself in this command in our verses today. Here is the secret of living a blessed life. Stop looking at yourself and your resources and listen to the voice of the Lord. Hear Him tell you of your glorious future.
The Lord is making a clear path for you to walk in and He is providing the needed resources (streams in the desert) for your future.
Keep your eyes on Him, ponder His promises and be content with what you have, because you have Him (Hebrews 13:5)! God is doing a new thing in your life and you should rejoice at that and look eagerly to Him to make the provision and ask Him to guide you in the way everlasting.
Remember the following and make it your prayer today. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.