Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
The Almighty entered this grave charge against His ancient favoured nation, "My people have forgotten Me days without number."
I. THE SAME CHARGE LIES WITH TOO GREAT FORCE AGAINST ALL CHRISTENDOM. The true secret of this lurks in the obstinate ungodliness of the carnal mind. This hinders the recollection of God in the following modes —
1. In habitual inattention to Divine truth, when presented to the mind. Some try to excuse their ignorance of God and His inspired Word, pleading, "I have such a bad memory," when the memory is quite good enough, if Divine truths were once welt lodged in it by due attention. No memory, however excellent, can retain that which was never allowed to make an impression (Hebrews 2:1).
2. In neglect of reflection on Divine truth read or heard. Where there is little meditation on God and His Word, it is vain to expect a rich experience, or a solid religious character.
3. In the occupation of the mind with comparative trifles. Filling our measures with chaff, we leave no room for good and solid grain. The maid thinks of her ornaments, and the bride of her attire. The young — and not they only, but many to whom increasing years have brought no wisdom — fill their thoughts and conversation with the fashions, the amusements, and entertainments of the season; and so can have, in their foolishly occupied minds, no grave recollection of that God with whom they have to do. It was a judicious answer of Themistocles to Simonides, who had offered to teach him the art of memory, "Rather teach me the art of forgetfulness; for the things which I would not I remember, and cannot forget the things I would."
4. In excess of worldly cares. There are grave anxieties regarding success in business, or the attainment of a coveted position, that so press upon the soul as to preclude the earnest recollection of religious truth. Hence it happens that shrewd men, who easily remember whatever affects the markets, cannot remember how to "buy the truth"; and readily quoting the stock and share lists of commercial enterprise, cannot accurately quote the verses of the blessed Word of God.
II. TO SHOW THE EVIL OF FORGETFULNESS, let it be considered how much a religiously stored memory tells on the development of the Christian mind and formation of the Christian character. It constitutes knowledge, it deepens repentance, it fortifies faith, it supplies comfort, and moves continual thankfulness.
(D. Fraser, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.