Grade school. Do you remember oral presentations? I recall one buddy in my class who at the conclusion of his talk handed out cookies.
Ancient Rome. Do you remember one of it’s greatest orators? Cicero. Do you remember what he handed out at one of his speeches?
Cicero distributed these words: “To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain always a child.”
By Cicero’s standards we are a nation of children. At no other time has there been such a profound ignorance of history.
The novelist Milan Kundera once said, “If you want to destroy a country, destroy its memory.”
Our country’s memory is nearly gone. Some 78% of our elite institutions of higher learning no longer require their students to take a course in history. Roughly 4 out of 5 college graduates if given a basic high school history test would flunk.
Maybe this is not so bad. You can be a decent citizen of the USA but know little of our nation’s history.
But, can you be a good citizen in God’s kingdom and yet know only a bit of Bible history?
Jay Leno once did a show that included a humorous man-on-the-street interview. Two college students were asked if they could name just one of the ten commandments.
One student was sure he had the answer, “Uh, freedom of speech?”
It really does matter if a follower of Jesus remembers the content of the Bible.
A psalmist puts it this way in Psalm 119:
Praise be to you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
We could perhaps paraphrase Cicero and say, to be ignorant of what happened in the Bible is to remain always a child.
We could also paraphrase Kundera and say, if you want to build a Christian, build their memory.
Growing to maturity, not neglecting God’s word, and building a useful godly memory is not that hard. You can find all you need to remember, and all you need to grow, in just one book.
Now that’s something to Celebrate!