I listened to the faithful husband talk about the difficulty he had taking care of his wife who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She no longer knew who he was. He spoke of the heartbreak and the loneliness that he suffered day in and day out. He then spoke of the commitment that he had made to his wife. He had vowed to be faithful or better or for worse, in sickness and in health. He would not turn his back on her now. He faithfully and lovingly fed her, dressed her, bathed her, and cared for her. He would have it no other way.
I can barely imagine what it might be like if my wife forgot me. I cannot even begin to relate to what it would be like for her not to remember our first date, or the first time we kissed. I cannot picture what it would be like for her to look at me with an inquisitive look, wondering who I am what my name is. I cannot imagine what it is to grieve for a loved one who is still there, yet not there.
There was a time when God’s people utterly forgot him. Here are just a couple of examples:
"An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master's manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand (Isa 1:3)."
"Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number (Jer 2:32).”
I wonder if God’s grief was in any way similar to that man’s grief on the
radio? Like the man on the radio, his bride forgot him. However, there is a major difference. The wife of the man on the radio could not help losing her memory. It was a physical illness she had no control over. Not so with Israel. Israel’s lack of memory was something they did have control over. They could have chosen to remember, but they did not.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hos 4:6).”
What would a man do if his wife intentionally forgot her husband? Wouldn’t he reject her and move on? However, the Lord ‘s God and not a man (Hos 11:9). He does not reject forever nor does he forget.
“But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you (Isa 49:14-15).”
God is faithful. Even though he had every right to reject us forever, he chose not to. Instead, he sent Jesus to die for us on a cruel cross. Let us never choose to have spiritual Alzheimer’s. Let’s do as Paul exhorts in this passage…
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel…(2 Tim 2:8)”