Remember Him

by Joanna Pierce on July 10, 2019

When friends and I are chatting and goofing around, most people assume we’re talking in code. We communicate a bulk of the time via quotes from billboards, announcements, shows, or things we’ve heard other people say. Add a layer of “inside jokes” and we’ve got everyone confused, sometimes even ourselves.

Occasionally in our banter, my friends or I will quote something and then pause because we’re unsure if we’ve spoken accurately. We’ll either correct each other or we’ll take a moment to research the phrase to make sure we’re saying it exactly right—tone quality, accent, and voice inflexion included. When I think about our conversations, it’s astonishing what we can quote verbatim from hundreds of resources. For us, it’s not just the words, but recalling and acting out the associated mannerisms as well.

Consider the volumes of information we all choose to memorize—baseball stats, player information, music lyrics/notes, recipes, etc. We can recall with perfect clarity the layout of our homes, workplaces, and schools, as well as the texture and tastes of foods. When we choose to commit these things to memory, we rarely forget a detail. If we do, we’re able to trigger remembrance in some way.

The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills (Jeremiah 17:1–2, KJV).

In the Old Testament, God’s people were steeped in idolatrous worship influenced by the surrounding pagan nations. They constructed intricate altars, poles, and gardens to worship these false gods. In doing so, they chose to commit every altar feature to memory. Consequently, Jeremiah calls their memorization abilities into account with their idolatrous sin.

God wouldn’t allow the utilization of any tool when constructing his altars (Exodus 20:25; Deuteronomy 27:5). He wanted them to be plain, solid structures so mankind wouldn’t admire their handywork when approaching for worship. At God’s altar, He would be their focus. His characteristics and Word would be the point of memorization. But, instead of memorizing the right things, God’s people could recall, with perfect clarity, the specifics of their pagan altars alone. They had forgotten the Lord.

How does memorization happen? When my friends and I engage in quoting raillery, we can because of repeated exposure. We listen to and/or read quotes many times. We reinforce memorization by re-researching and/or adding tone or action with the words. And, we choose to do all of this continually. From this repetition, a permanent neuropathway is created (graven) in our brains which then remains.

Ponder the following with me: What do we all choose to remember and/or memorize? Is God’s Word one of them? Can we recall with perfect clarity the ways of the Lord? Can we remember the things He’s spoken to us in prayer? Do we revisit inspirational Scriptures to encourage us when we’re facing trials? Can we quote warfare Scriptures when in combat with the enemy? What’s graven with an iron pen on the walls of our hearts? How deep are the godly neuropathways in our brain?

In life, it’s okay to have fun and memorize a few things here and there that provide comic relief. But, we need to make a concerted effort to memorize godly things as well to help us live our life the other 99% of the time. God’s sharp and powerful Word (Hebrews 4:12) needs to be the graving tool writing on the tablet of our hearts. His Word needs to be creating the permanent neuropathways in our brain and helping us recall in perfect clarity our God and His ways. Remember Him.