Some of the saddest passages in the Bible can be found in the messages of the Old Testament prophets. God said to His people before their captivity, “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number” (Jer. 2:32). Four times in the book of Jeremiah God tells His people that they have forgotten Him. We see why this is so important, “For My people have forgotten Me, they burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, not on a highway” (Jer. 18:15). It is possible that we, His people, can forget the ancient paths and follow the “bypaths” that God never intended. In doing so, we get so far from Him that we forget who He is and worship our own image of Him.
God, through Ezekiel, wrote, “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, bear now the punishment of your lewdness and your harlotries’” (Ezek. 23:35). Ezekiel was taken in the first captivity that Jeremiah lamented over. In his forty-eight-chapter book, Ezekiel wrote a form of “you will know that I am the Lord” sixty-seven times. God is serious about His people knowing who He is and what is expected of them. That is why it is imperative that His church, purchased with the blood of His Son, doesn’t forget Him.
It is possible for us to think we know God and not be known by Him (Matt. 7:20-21). If we absorb denominational concepts of God, they can change our Biblical concept of Him. For example, many have quoted, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform,” as though it were scripture. However, it is a hymn composed by William Cowper in 1773. In more recent years, there have been many books published that write of some “radical” new concept of God or Jesus. Then, songs are made famous that speak of God’s “reckless” love as though the Bible was a romance novel. We can step off the path and onto a bypath if we are not feeding ourselves on a healthy diet of the Bible and biblical concepts of God. We need to stay away from fast food theology and shallow denominational rhetoric.
It is possible to forget God by getting distracted from Him by the world around us. “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matt. 13:22).
There are so many other ways to forget God. The most important thing is that we don’t. We must not become like the people in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel and forget God “days without number.”