18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21)
You’ve heard the expression before: “Buried in the sea of forgetfulness.” Or, if you haven’t, it refers to something which is “buried and done with” — like a bad action that was taken against you at one point in time. You were once a criminal, for example, and you went to jail. You served your time, or you might have even gotten off “early” for good behavior (as they say). The issue is now done and complete. It is “buried” as they say. It is “done with.” To borrow upon the above expression, God says that when you sin, or when you’ve been through a very troubling time in your life, that when it is all said and done — when you have been forgiven and cleansed (that is a very simple thing, all you have to do is ask for it) — it is now “buried in the sea of forgetfullness.” It is over. You must bury that thing, and let it stay buried. God forgives you! (Or, there may be no accountability on your part, depending upon what it is.)
Were you divorced? Did your spouse die? Bury it. Keep it buried. Don’t touch that “dead thing”, because it is now buried. Move on. Your life is worth much more than dwelling on your past failures, and sins, or continually grieving over your past because of something that happened (perhaps entirely out of your control). Anyway, you don’t know the extent to which you were responsible for that divorce. Only God knows. God says to you today, “Bury that thing in the sea of forgetfulness. It is done. Don’t take it back from the grave and start to handle it again in your thoughts. That would be death to you. I am not the god of death, but the Great God of Life! I came to give you Life and Life Abundantly!” (John 10:10)
I am not exhorting you to forget your mother or your father or someone you loved. Memories are given for a purpose. However, those purposes can be easily twisted by the world, the flesh, or by Satan (our enemy), to try and “bring us down” into the pits — right where that dead thing is! “Look up!” God says! He does not say, “Look down!” No, he says, “Look up … for your redemption is near!” In fact, the command is given to those who are in the very face of adversity: Jerusalem is surrounded, and Jesus says, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and LIFT UP [note: not DOWN!] your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!” (Luke 21:28) Therefore, rejoice, my brother and sister, even if there is something that has “died” in your past — and do not keep on grieving. He commands us to “look up!” So what are we doing, looking down, staring into the grave of some past failure or sin or other circumstance which has the stench of “death” around it?
Do not handle those things that are dead. Don’t act as though something is living when it is not. And don’t keep “bringing up from the dead” something that has died. No, but rather, “God is NOT the God of the dead, but of the living!” (Matthew 22:32) “The word of God is living … ” (Hebrews 4:12). Handle that! It is living, and it will bring you Life! “I am the way, and the truth, and the Life!” Jesus said. (John 14:6) Talk to Him! But that dead thing that you buried a long time ago? No, you must not handle that at all, but you must leave it buried, where it belongs! Look up, I say! “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on THESE things.” (Philippians 4:8)