Remember the Signs

the silver chair

“Stand still. In a moment I will blow. But first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart, and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” – Aslan, The Silver Chair

I’m a Lewis fan. I find his writings to be incredibly simple (well, his non-fiction anyway… his philosophy is different beast), yet amazingly profound. In the above quote, Aslan gives Jill Pole a command not to forget the signs. Aslan says, “Say them to yourself when you wake and when you lie down.” Never stop saying the signs. Never.

Deuteronomy gives the same command to parents as they raise their children. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.   Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

This command was given to parents so that their children might also follow the way of the Lord. It seems the assumption is that parents know the commands. Remember, when Moses spoke this final sermon, the people were not following along in their Bibles. They had to put the word of the Lord in their hearts and, as Aslan said, “remember, remember, remember.” Why did Aslan stress this? Why was this such an emphasis for Moses? Without the signs along the way, we will get lost.

When Jesus was tempted, Satan quoted Psalm 91. Yes, I did say that correctly. Satan quoted Psalm 91. Satan’s quotation was not incorrect, his application and meaning were. See, Satan knows the Bible. Remember, James reminds us the demons know Jesus (James 2:19). If we don’t “remember the signs” of the Lord, the “signs” we see may well misdirection, despite how accurate they sound.

So, “remember the signs.” Jill did not and got herself (and her companions) into trouble. Israel forgot the signs and fell into a cycle of slavery (cf. Judges). During Jesus’ temptation, Jesus responded to Satan’s words by saying, “Man does not live on bread alone, but every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4). Unless we are fasting, we probably wont forget to eat. We need it to survive. If we need bread to live physically, how much more do we need the Bread of Life? (John 6:35)

Aslan said it well: “…remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs.

 

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