The Bible contains multiple references to memorials which show us the importance of remembering certain events and actions.
God appeared to Jacob in a dream as he fled from his brother, Esau. Jacob poured oil on the stone he used as a pillar to dedicate the place where God established a covenant with him.
Joshua commanded twelve men to each carry a stone across the Jordan River to safeguard the knowledge of the miracles God had performed for future generations.
The Feast of Purim in the book of Esther proclaims the day the Jews were saved from annihilation by the wicked Haman.
The Word of God documents so many times people were commanded to remember someone or something that we can’t discuss them all here. But these following incidents in Scripture can reveal to us three lessons biblical memorials can teach us.
1. We can remember and be thankful for what God has done. In Exodus 17:14 Joshua led the Israelite warriors to victory over Amalek. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. (NKJV)”
The outcome of this battle can show us how God also delivers us from our enemies. We can record these victories in journals or notes in our Bible. At times when we are tempted to fear or fall into despair these words can remind us of the Lord’s sovereign power to deliver us from evil.
2. We can remember and be thankful for what others have done for us. Jesus had dinner with Simon the leper. Many prominent people were probably in attendance. A sinful woman came into the room and anointed Jesus’ feet with fragrant oil. Some of the dinner guests were indignant and only thought about the value of the oil thinking what she did was a waste. But Jesus told them to leave her alone. She would be recognized in the gospel for her devotion to Him.
Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is peached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. (Matthew 26:13)
Sacrificial gifts come to us from other people throughout our lives. The impact these offerings have on us can leave a lasting remembrance of kindnesses.
3. We can remember and be thankful for what we have done that has impacted the gospel message. This doesn’t mean we should brag about our giving or accomplishments but we can be thankful God has blessed us with resources and opportunities to spread the message of grace. Acts 10:4 shows us the result of Cornelius’ prayers and giving. As this Roman centurion prayed he had a vision of an angel talking to him. And when he observed him, he was afraid and said, “What is it, lord?” so he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”
Present Day Observances
We observe a special day on our calendar in May. We honor the sacrifices of our military members who gave their lives on the battlefield to preserve the freedoms we now enjoy. The precedent for this and other observances was set in the Bible to honor heroes, events, and why they happened.
On this Memorial Day, may we look back to the battles over the centuries where American men and women bled, died, and are buried. The principle their sacrifices preserved is embedded in America’s foundation which is the rock of the gospel.
Our greatest reminder of life is the empty tomb in Jerusalem. The large stone that rolled away revealed the vacant hole that no longer contains a body because Jesus is alive.
He is our legacy of salvation, grace, and truth.
Because of what He did we can live in a land where we can worship and preach His message. May Memorial Day remind you of the blessings you now enjoy.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts and memorials.