We tend to forget. That’s why the Bible reminds us to “remember” so often. In Deuteronomy, Moses told Israel to “be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God…but remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:10ff). Over and over we are commanded to remember.
As many of you know, we have spent this past week in Israel. If you go to any cemetery you will find rocks piled up in remembrance by the graveside. Visitors place a stone on the grave whenever they visit. The stones accumulate until Passover when they’re swept clean and start fresh. The stone tells others that the deceased is gone but not forgotten. They don’t want to forget their loved ones. Today, we visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem called Yad Vashem. It means “a memorial and a name” taken from Isaiah 56:5 which refers to a place of remembrance.
“To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever.” Isaiah 56:5
Much of the museum is comprised of testimonies of those who survived the death camps. They have a “Hall of Remembrance” so that the world will never forget the atrocities of WW II. In another memorial, a recording reads aloud the names of children and their ages at death. We were told that it takes 2 years to read the entire list of the two and a half million children who were killed in the holocaust. Why all the stories? Because the only way we remember is to tell.
One quote in the museum reads: “Whoever listens to a witness becomes a witness”—excerpt from a speech given by Elie Wiesel at Yad Vashem.
Whoever listens to a witness becomes a witness. – Elie Wiesel
BEFORE YOU GO
The Apostle Peter wrote, “always be ready to remind” others of the things that are true and important (2 Peter 1:12). We can never forget what God has done in the past for others and for each one of us. In fact, what we remember effects everything we say and how we view the future. What do you need to remember and tell?