Sinful Amnesia

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Psalm 106:6-15
Number 15:37-41

They soon forgot his works. (Psalm 106:13)

True confessions: one of my most glaring and repeated sins is spiritual amnesia. Over and over, I have witnessed God’s hand on my life in tangible, personal, and practical ways. Often in little things (by our measure) but also in big ways—the dramatic, can’t-deny-it’s-God kind of way. But then I soon forget.

Psalm 106, like 105, is a historical psalm, recounting God’s faithful hand throughout the history of Israel. But unlike Psalm 105, the spotlight here shines not on God’s faithfulness but upon Israel’s rebellion and disobedience, more specifically, the sin of amnesia. Enslaved in Egypt, an entire nation has just walked out the door of the oppressive tyrant’s prison. In a dramatic moment, the sea opens for Israel, then closes upon the Egyptians, and a powerful army is swallowed up in the crushing surf. “But they soon forgot his works” (v. 13). It boggles the mind. How could you forget this cataclysmic event? This was a bona fide, visible, hand-of-God miracle. How could they possibly forget that?

How quick we are to judge. We do the same thing all the time. God knows our penchant for “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.” In the book of Numbers, he instructs the people to place visible reminders of his saving acts in front of their eyes, “so you shall remember . . . and be holy” (Numbers 15:40).


Forgive us, Lord. Help us remember who you are, and what you have done for us.