Everyone wants to be remembered. No one who ever lived wants their memory to drift into the sea of forgetfulness. We were born to make a mark, to matter, to at least be remembered by those we loved, and deep inside, perhaps subconsciously, by our Creator. The good news is, that matters to God, too! That is why he offers you an amazing eternal life insurance policy through his Son, Jesus. Through him, while you might be gone one day from time, you will never be forgotten in eternity.
Going Deep // Focus: Deuteronomy 25:5-6
If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow may not be married to anyone from outside the family. Instead, her husband’s brother should marry her…to fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law. The first son she bears to him will be considered the son of the dead brother, so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel.
Everyone wants to be remembered. No person who ever lived wants their memory to drift into the sea of forgetfulness. We were born to make a mark, to matter, to at least be remembered by those we loved, and deep inside, perhaps subconsciously, by our Creator. And of the many reasons the fear of death is a universal dread, at the top of the fear heap is our subterranean anxiety of one day being gone and forgotten.
God has made a way for us to be remembered, that while we may be gone, we will not be forgotten. Even more than our desire to live a life that matters, this matters even more to the God who gave us life. That is why he provided a law that governed the death of a person without an heir in Deuteronomy 25:5-6. This ruling clearly reveals God’s concern that while the dearest of his creation—man—might die, he will be remembered forever. But you have to look beyond this ancient law to see God’s heart on the matter of us mattering.
More on that in a moment, but first, let’s consider this ancient law: It might seem a bit quirky to us, or a lot, that if a man died without a son, the man’s brother would have to marry the widow. Today, would we say, “thank you, but no thanks!” But remember, as we have already seen in Mosaic Law, God commanded his people to preserve their lineage and their property by keeping it all in the family.
Why? God had his reasons, but I believe that one of those reasons was nothing less than his original plan to give his creation eternal life. Death was not a part of the package when God created Adam and Eve. Death was an intrusion caused by human sin; that is why the rest of human history is redemptive. God is reinstituting eternal life insurance. Could it be that this particular law was a preview of that, what we might call a type of eternal life? I think so. It is clearly implied in the words:
The first son she bears to him will be considered the son of the dead brother, so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel
So what does that say to us living in a day far removed from ancient Israel’s strict laws that keep property within the family and preserve a man’s name forever? Again, your name—who you are, your very existence—matters to God. He created you for his purpose and glory, and he desires to be in relationship with you now and forever. That, by the way, is what is unique about your God among all the false gods people cling to: Yahweh, the Self-existent One, the Creator of all, is relational, personal and generously loving. Furthermore, he designed and built you for eternal life.
Yet you will die. Me, too. But that doesn’t have to be the end of our memory. Our name can be celebrated for all eternity, not just in the memories of those who love us, but most importantly, in the presence of the One who gave us life, our Creator God. And the premium for eternal life insurance policy was forever paid by his Son, Jesus Christ, who through his sacrificial death, has guaranteed that your name—who you are, your very existence, your living-breathing-active-accomplishing life will carry on with purpose and joy forever and ever in God’s unceasing and ever-expanding reality.
But you have to sign up for the policy!