I was planning to go to the pool this evening and I’m looking through my closet and what do I see but a shirt that I got from a friend at a convention last year. I hadn’t worn it in awhile, but I always wore it with pride. It was a reminder of a community that loves me and accepts me as I am and a great time of fun, fellowship, and faith that I had.
When I saw it, I could not help but smile and immediately, a flood of good and happy memories came. I wish I could say all troubles in my life evaporated at that point, but to say so would be lying. I will say though that that reminder did help me overcome them some and set me thinking about reminders.
The Bible is full of them. God always wanted his people Israel to know where they came from. The past was meant to strengthen and encourage them. In many ways, the past would often set the precedent for the future. God would be faithful and act in the present and future the way he did in the past.
“I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt.” How often is that said? When the kings of Judah and Israel went out and hired mercenaries or sought other forms of military help, did not God condemn them and say “Didn’t I do this for you in the past?” The problem was they did not realize they could trust that the God who did the wonders in the past was still around, and when they did obey, God did provide.
I was listening to Douglas Stuart at Biblical Training yesterday online as he was describing a writing found talking about Sennacherib’s conquest. He says that Senna said that he had Hezekiah trapped like a bird in a cage. Every other nation he tells how he totally destroyed. Of Hezekiah though, he just says “I trapped him like a bird in a cage.” Why? Because Hezekiah was trapped until an angel slew 185,000 of Senna’s men. God did provide.
In the NT, we see the same thing. We are told to look to the life of Christ first and foremost. The Hebrews writer especially draws us back to the past in reliving the lives of the saints as well. They are told to be faithful to the promises of the past and to be sure that what God has said, he will do in the future.
Isn’t this our trust today? Our record of faithfulness is with God’s past relations in dealing with his people. We have to look at how God acted in Scripture. While there weren’t always miracles, can we point to a time when God was not faithful to his promise? The answer is no. If that is so, then surely we should trust him for today.
And you know, I think I’ll wear that shirt tomorrow to remind myself of things that are important as well.