Never forget (religion)

Published 1:18 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

By Robert Griffin

At Highland Baptist last Sunday we had an awesome Memorial Day service. Then, on Monday, I was privileged to participate in a Memorial Day service in Clanton.

So, recently, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the momentous meaning of Memorial Day.



In the Bible, often God challenged His people, Israel, not to forget His blessings on them. Why? God knew their propensity to forget His blessings in times of prosperity, power, and prestige.

In fact, sometimes God would instruct them to construct a memorial as a reminder. One such memorial was found in Joshua 4. Here, God helped Israel by parting the Jordan River, permitting them to cross. Next, God commanded the Israelites to build a memorial with stones they removed from the Jordan River.

Indeed, in Joshua 4:7, God declared, “. . . these stones shall be for a memorial . . . for ever.”

Perhaps God gave us Memorial Day to remind us of all He has done for the United States. Also, like the Israelites of old, we tend to forget God when things go right. Therefore, we need constant reminders to help us never forget God’s bountiful blessings on America.

What does our nation need to remember on Memorial Day? What is it that Americans should never forget?

First and foremost, on Memorial Day, we must never forget those who gave their lives to protect us. Nearly one million Americans have died in the major wars our nation has fought. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13).

Traditionally, many go to the beach for Memorial Day. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, never forget the thousands of American soldiers whom stormed various beaches during battles on distant shores. Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands died there. Never forget: their horrible beach trips give you the freedom to have a pleasant holiday outing.

Second, we must never forget the many freedoms God has bequeathed Americans. When we sing our national anthem, we profess, “O’er the land of the free . . .” Certainly, Americans enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Actually, since Sunday, like most of you, I’ve savored all these freedoms.

Although we live in a free country, there are millions of Americans living in slavery today. That’s right! They’re enslaved to alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, greed, etc. These are just a few of the myriad idols to which many Americans are bound.

Please be reminded, there’s only one way to true freedom, and it’s through Jesus Christ alone. To be sure, Jesus pronounced, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

In conclusion, heed the Word of God: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17). Every reader needs to ponder the following question today: Is our nation in peril of forgetting God?

Fellow Americans, it’s imperative that we never forget!

The Rev. Robert Griffin is pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Clanton. Look for another installment of his column in a future edition of The Clanton Advertiser.