In Leviticus 23, we're admonished to remember God's appointed times, remember who He is and what He has done for us. Remembering these things is essential if we want to remain committed to God and continue to serve Him.
But, with all the remembering, there are some things we simply just need to forget.
The last three years have been rough for many people. The COVID pandemic, the lockdowns, the economy, the unrest and the feelings of hopelessness that have impacted so many.
When life brings trouble and turmoil, those troubles can bring out the worst and the best in us. And oftentimes, stress can get us stuck in a rut, repeating the same negative patterns over and over. That takes a toll on our soul.
Well, here's the good news. God is still in the business of making all things new!
But, in order to experience the new, we must get rid of the old. This is where the forgetting comes in...
We need to forget the record of wrongs we've been holding onto in our hearts, the wounds inflicted by others or maybe ourselves. We need to forget the lies the enemy has tried to sell us; that things will never change, that our mistakes are too big to overcome or that we've been forgotten or forsaken.
We need to forget the old ways of doing things so we can embrace a new and better way.
Isaiah 43:18 reads: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
In order to perceive the new thing God is doing, we need to ask Him what it is, how He wants us to cooperate with it and then seek to follow it through.
The Jewish blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh pronounced by parents every Shabbat over their children comes from the meaning of their names.
Manasseh, Joseph's firstborn, represented all the troubles in Joseph's past that he overcame. Ephraim, the youngest son, represented Joseph's fruitful future when he was placed in the position of pharaoh's right-hand man.
As we go through the Ten Days of Awe and take time to remember who God is and who we are as His people, let's be sure to forget a few things, too. After all, God chooses to forget.
Psalm 103:12 reads: "He has removed our sins as far from us as the East is from the West."
In Isaiah 43:25, we read: "I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."
If God forgets, so should we.
This year, may you be like Ephraim and Manasseh, forgetting the troubles of your past and having a fruitful future!
Avigayil Rivkah is a writer and speaker, specializing in content related to arts and entertainment, Jewish culture and faith, natural living and Israel news. She is a Jewish believer in Jesus and the founder of ajoyfuljewishjourney.com