“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8
My sophomore year in college I applied to become an RA in the dorm the following year and as part of that process I needed to be interviewed by the head dean of men. So we scheduled a meeting for a Sunday morning and when that morning dawned I was very anxious to make sure that in all my other activities I didn’t lose track of time and forget the appointment. It seemed like every five minutes I was looking at my watch.
Everything seemed to be going perfectly, in just a few minutes I would walk over to his office, when instead of looking at my watch I looked at one of the clocks on the wall. It read an hour later than my watch. In all my preparations and precautions to ensure that I would be on time I’d forgotten one important thing that was required that day. The time had changed that night and I needed to set my clock ahead one hour.
People are forgetful. We forget all kinds of things and unfortunately it seems that the things we most frequently forget are those events and life lessons that are most likely to be of benefit to us. As a result we tend to make some really big mistakes that should have been completely avoidable if we’d only remembered.
Our focus text tells about a time when Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, forgot about God’s deliverance of the land of Egypt through the wisdom and leadership of Joseph. And as a result of this forgetfulness made decisions that ended up bringing great hardship to a great number of people and very nearly destroyed the country.
God promises that he’ll guide us, if we’ll listen to him, and I believe that all the things we’ve done in the past have given us sufficient experience that if we combine them with the always available wisdom of God’s word and the continual connection to God available to us through prayer that we always have the resources we need to make good and godly decisions.
But too often we’re in too big a hurry and we forget. We forget to be prayerful and by it ever strengthening our personal connectedness with God. We forget to be studious and daily seeking new wisdom from scripture. And we forget other lessons from our own experiences. As a result we repeat the errors of the past and sometime make new mistakes all of which might have been avoided if we’d just remembered.
But it occurs to me that actors have prompters to help them remember lines and leaders of countries, and big companies, have assistants to help them remember appointments. There’s no weakness in admitting that we need help remembering.
I propose we all do something that might help us break this cycle of errors because of forgetfulness. Let’s confess to God our weakness and ask him to remind us each day how forgetful we are. And let’s ask him to remind us to connect ourselves to him through prayer and to grow our knowledge of him through scripture. Let’s ask him to remind us to listen to him.