Then I remembered what the Lord had said:
‘John baptized with water,
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Acts 11:16 (NIV)
Memory is a wonderful gift from the Lord. The longer we live, the more we have to remember. Sometimes our memory banks get filled up it seems, and the most recent events seem to fall off the edge of our memories.
I thank the Lord for my memory. I appreciate my ability to recall things from many years ago as though they happened yesterday. I recall the sound of voices now long silenced in death. I hear the shouts of delight as my cousins and I swam in the lake way back of the farm property.
I still recall the sound of the four cylinder flathead motor in the Willys Overland car my older brother and I drove all over the country roads around my Dad’s farm. Then there is the sweet smell of newly cut hay. On my memory goes.
When we consider how to feed our faith we must use our memories of God’s ways with us in the past, to strengthen our faith for today’s problems. In Old Testament times, God created for His people many memory banks made of religious ceremonies and stones. For example, in 1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV) we read,
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.
He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
The nation was besieged by the Philistines and the Lord enabled them to defeat the dread enemy nation. So the prophet took a special stone as a marker for all time so people would remember the victory God gave His people.
Then in Joshua 4:4-7 (NIV) we read,
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed
from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them,
“Go over before the ark of the Lord your God
into the middle of the Jordan.
Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder,
according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,
to serve as a sign among you.
In the future, when your children ask you,
‘What do these stones mean?’
tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off
before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.
These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
A ceremony of remembrance to feed faith was in the Passover. Exodus 12:14,17 (NIV)
“This is a day you are to commemorate;
for the generations to come
you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance…
“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread,
because it was on this very day
that I brought your divisions out of Egypt.
Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance
for the generations to come.
We have the Communion Table to remind us of the sacrifice in the past, and as we feed on the bread and wine, we feed our faith by recalling that great historical event of 2,000 years ago. Have you forgotten to feed your faith on the past works of God in your life? Get back into the ways the faithful One has dealt with you and feed your faith.
His love in time past forbids me to think,
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink.
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
confirms His good pleasure to see me quite through.