Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is perhaps the most notable Christian dissident of the twentieth century. Born in Russia in 1918, he was raised by his mother in the Russian Orthodox Church. As he grew into a young man, he was educated in mathematics, but took correspondence courses in philosophy, literature and history. He began writing at an early age which got him in trouble since he was outspoken about the oppressive communist government. He was eventually sentenced to eight years in a labor camp which was the typical sentence for political dissidents and spent another three years in exile.
I was recently reading about Solzhenitsyn and saw where he had written this of himself:
”Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia:
‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’
Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat:
‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.“
That’s an interesting observation from a man who himself suffered persecution as a direct result of God being cast aside in an entire society. God spoke to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah several thousand years before Solzhenitsyn was born. He asked Israel,
“Can a maid forget her ornaments (jewelry), or a bride her attire (wedding dress)? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” (Jeremiah. 2:32)
I too have caught myself forgetting God from time to time, and finally resolved to do something about it. Even now when alarm clock goes off I think, “Oh no! It’s time to get up!” But then I think, “Thank you Lord for allowing me to awaken from sleep one more time. I love you and give myself to you in your service today. Please use me in a way that will bring glory and honor to you.”
And yet sometimes I still forget Him. But when I do, I ask forgiveness and move back to remembering. He is more than worthy of that effort. How many days have we “forgotten God.” How many times have we moved through our entire day and even slept again that evening, without giving our Creator one thought? Could the answer be one hundred days? One thousand days? Many thousands of days? Or could it just be that we have forgotten Him “days without number?”
The question the old Russians were asking when Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a young man was, “How did these awful things happen to Mother Russia?” But then those that were wise knew the answer.
“Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
If the truth was known, each of us is at a different place in our journey with God from any other. We are unique human beings and thus God deals with us differently. We all have different levels of commitment, yet there is one thing we all have in common. Any of us can fail. But how can we know for sure that we will fail in our Christian journey?
… forget God and neglect to attend a good Bible-believing church.
… forget God and stay out of His precious word, the Bible.
… forget God and avoid befriending godly people.
… forget God and stop talking to Him daily in prayer.
… forget God and choose worldliness over godliness.
… forget God and don’t seek out a place of ministry to get involved in.
… forget God and allow your emotions to take charge of your thoughts.
You see, when you forget God, a void is created that will be always be filled by ungodliness. Several thousand years ago, Jeremiah spoke these words of God to Israel. He said,
“My people have forgotten me days without number.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same. God’s people even today are still forgetting Him days without number. Choose not be one of those and you will be infinitely successful.
Forget God and you will fail. Remember God … and succeed!