In these bulletin articles, we’ve been going through a list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. We’ve been looking at God’s law as summarised in the ten commandments. We started by examining the first commandment: ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Exodus 20:3). We saw the duties of the first commandment and then began to examine the sins forbidden by the commandment, such as atheism. But what other sins are forbidden?


If you are to have God as your god, then you must not be ignorant of him nor forget him.


In the book of Jeremiah God condemns the Israelites for ignoring him: ‘Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest’ (Jeremiah 5:21-24).


The apostle Paul also warns God’s people not to live in ignorance: ‘So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that  is in them due to the hardening of their hearts’ (Ephesians 4:17-18).


Similarly, Jeremiah also points out that people remember other important things in their lives, yet forget God: ‘Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number’ (Jeremiah 2:32). Even animals remember rightly, putting humans to shame: ‘Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD’ (Jeremiah 8:7).


And it’s not just the Israelites. Sadly, we must all admit that we as Christians have often ignored God and forgotten him. We have been far too preoccupied with the worship of false gods.


And such sin is serious. No one likes to be ignored or forgotten, particularly if you have been very good to the person who is ignoring you. So it is not surprising that, God punishes those who forget him: ‘”I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind. This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the LORD, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods’’’ (Jeremiah 13:24-25).


Yet the Bible reminds us that Jesus never ignored his Father in heaven or forgot him. So if we repent of our ignorance and forgetfulness, Jesus grants us forgiveness through his perfect death.


Have you admitted to God that you are guilty of ignoring and forgetting him? Have you asked for pardon through Jesus Christ?                        Joel Radford