Here is A VERY GRIEVOUS SIN. “My people have forgotten me days without number.” Observe whom they had forgotten: it will help us to see the sin of it. The Lord saith, “My people have forgotten me.” Not strangers, not heathen, not those who have only heard of Me but have never known Me; but “My people.” That is to say, a people not only chosen and redeemed, but brought to know Him, brought into fellowship with Him, brought into relationship with Him, brought absolutely into union with Him,— “they have forgotten Me.” He has redeemed them from among men by the matchless price of His only begotten Son’s life. Other nations, having set up their false gods, did not forget them, but, with blind pertinacity of devotion, they bowed before them; but My people have forgotten their God, the only God, the living and true God. Oh, sad ingratitude!
Observe sadly the space in which they had forgotten: in the case of Israel, it is added, “days without number.” Ah me! I hope it has not come to that with any of us here present; and yet it may; it may. I may be touching a chord now which shall awaken the saddest memories. “Days without number.” How long is it, friend, since you were in the habit of walking with God? How long is it since you have seen the face of the Well-Beloved?
I ventured to put that question once to a professor, and, shaking his head, he replied, “Don’t ask me that: How long since I have had fellowship with Christ, I cannot— I dare not— answer you.” Yet I venture to press the question, and I hope the answer will not be, “I have forgotten him days without number.” You see the sin lies in this, that we should forget God, and do it “days without number.”
How is God forgotten?
Some professors evidently forget God by their worldliness. They prospered, and as they prospered they became less and less attentive to divine things, and turned aside from the Truth of God, and their children have grown up to be utter worldlings. Their souls have been starved to very skeletons, for they have not fed upon the things of God. Some now seem to have no religion whatever; they mix up with worldly people, and seem quite happy with them.
Some have forgotten God by self-seeking. They live unto themselves. Once they seemed to have a zeal for God, now their zeal is entirely to push their own way, anything and everything except the glory of God and the love of souls. And yet they profess to be God’s people even now. True is the lament, “My people have forgotten me.”
Some, too, show that they forget God by the failure of their trust. They are in trouble, and they are very anxious. Why? Because they have forgotten God, though He has promised to help them. They are wondering what is to become of them, looking all about them with the greatest amount of carking care. They are fretting and worrying, they are troubled and cast down, because they have forgotten God. You can do this in your daily concerns, until you may act as if God Himself were dead. It is sad indeed when a Christian acts upon atheistic principles, and despairs as if he had no God to succour him. Ah me, what evils come to men when they have forgotten God!
“It was such a busy day,” says one, “I could not find time to pray.” Recollect how Martin Luther acted: he said that he must have three hours’ prayer one day because it was such a busy day that he should not have strength to get through it if he did not have extra time for devotion.
The Lord might well complain:— “My people have forgotten me. They have not waited upon me in wrestling prayer: they have not cried to me during the day. They have not lifted up their hearts to me in the moment of trouble; they have not consulted me in difficulty; they have not rejoiced in me in the time of their joy. They have forgotten me.”
It is very bad walking and very bad living when God and ourselves are at cross purposes. It is a very sweet thing, when you are conscious of having done wrong, to go back to your heavenly Father at once and own it, and get right again. How willing He is to receive us! How glad He is to blot out the past and let bygones be bygones, and to let us start anew with Him. He delights to forgive. Sometimes we let the stones accumulate till there is quite a heap, and they are made into a wall, which blocks our way. If every stone had been flung away one by one, how much easier it would have been!
I scarcely need, I think, to talk longer about this sin, except to notice that, if ever we do forget God, it leads to all sorts of mischief. We lose our joy and our comfort; and then we lose our strength and our watchfulness; and then we backslide by little and little; and then, probably, we fall into one sin, and then into another sin, if not into a third more grievous still. David had never sinned with Bathsheba if he had not forgotten his God. By degrees we get hardened about our state, and soon it comes to this— that we have lost the presence of God, and do not care whether we have it or not. Oh, this is a sad, sad state of heart. God save us from it. May it never be said of us, “My people have forgotten me days without number.”
Now I close with a few words of CALL TO REPENTANCE, if we have in any measure or degree forgotten our God. I am sure, first, that our God does not deserve to be treated so. “I have graven thee on the palms of My Hands,” says He. Let us engrave His name upon the tablets of our hearts.
Think, for a minute, if He had forgotten you. If God had suspended the outflow of His grace, and left you to yourselves, what had been your fate!
But He never has forgotten us. He is not forgetting us at this moment. He says to each one, however wandering, “I do earnestly remember thee still.” Lord, dost thou remember me? Then would I smite my heart to think I ever should have forgotten Thee.
God is ours and we are His. God is our joy, our only joy, our overflowing joy. He that knoweth God hath heaven within his spirit even now. Come, let us not forget again, but let us bind the glorious name of Lord about our heart. May the sweet Spirit do it now, for Jesus Christ’s sweet love’s sake. Amen.
Excerpted from the sermon titled “The Bride and Her Ornaments: The Sin of Forgetting God” (Jeremiah 2:32) by CH Spurgeon dated 4 August 1881. You are encouraged to read the full text of the sermon from https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-bride-and-her-ornaments-the-sin-of-forgetting-god/#flipbook/