Summary: A sermon about how God has to remind us from time to time about our relationship to Him and others.
WHEN REMEMBERING BRINGS TEARS
INTRO: God knows that we have a tendency to forget. The Bible constantly uses the phrase “forget not” or “lest ye forget.” God didn’t want the Israelites to forget some things.
I. REMEMBERING SOME THINGS (v. 1).
God reminded Israel of his love and the deliverance he had given them. In his own words, “I brought you up out of Egypt” (NASB). What a reminder! The account of their misery and bondage is found in Exodus 2:23-25. They had forgotten their desperate cries of bondage and their feelings of hopelessness.
God heard their cries and saw their afflictions. And as The Living Bible puts it, the “time had come for their rescue” (Ex. 2:25). But how quickly they had forgotten. God reminded Israel that he had saved them.
Christians today can relate to that reminder. When the time was right for our rescue, he sent his Son to deliver us. We are no longer slaves (Gal. 4:4-7). But we, too, tend to forget and need to remember our deliverance.
God also reminded Israel that he had led them to a new land (v. 1). They were not left to wander without hope or protection. God continued to provide and protect them. He stayed with them. God does the same with every new babe in Christ. He gives new hope, new desire, new direction, and a new abundant life.
God included another reminder that he always keeps his promises (v. 1). As God has been faithful to care for us in the past, he will also provide for us in the future. He promised never to leave us or forsake us and to give abundant life.
II. REBELLING AGAINST SOME THINGS (v. 2).
Man rebelled when God instructed him to make no covenant with the ungodly. God was even careful to tell him why: “Lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee” (Ex. 23: 33). He repeated the warning in Exodus 34:12-13. The snare always catches the sinner.
Rebellion is recorded also in the New Testament against God’s instructions. Disobedience brings entrapment. The snare snaps snugly. God always instructs for our own good. God reminded Israel that he had released them from bondage, but they had been snared again by sin. Christians, take heed!
God gives a grim reminder of rebellion’s harvest (v. 3). Facing consequences is painful. Thorns are uncomfortable, but they are often the price of rebellion. Every generation has confronted this principle of life. Few, it seems, have learned it.
III. REPENTING OF SOME THINGS (vv. 4-5).
The children of Israel wept. Weeping does not always indicate repentance, but in this case weeping was followed by worship. The place was even named Bochim, which means “weepers.” The intensity of their repentance can better be understood by a study of the word bochim. It is taken from the verb bakah, meaning a deep wail. This kind of grief is described in Genesis 21:16, as a mother weeps for the life of her son. The same intense feeling was used by the Israelites to repent over their sins.
As Jesus was being led to Calvary, he fell beneath the load of the cross. Women standing near wept for him. Jesus said, “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28, RSV).
Jesus put it this way. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5: 4).
CONC: Man repents; God redeems.