In Genesis 8:1, we’re told that “God remembered Noah.” It wasn’t as though God suddenly remembered Noah and his family and the animals floating on the waters of the flood and slapped his forehead and said, “Oh, my – I forgot all about Noah!” His remembering and thinking of Noah led him to do something for him. The very next sentence reads: “God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.”
When God remembers, he acts. When God remembers, he doesn’t just recall a fact or a memory. He does something to bless or to save.
Rachel was unable to conceive. She was way behind in the baby race with her sister Leah and their maidservants. But finally, in Genesis 30:22, we’re told that “God remembered Rachel and enabled her to conceive.” A woman named Hannah prayed for a child for years with tears. Finally, God remembered her and she gave birth to Samuel (1 Samuel 1:19,20)
In Exodus 2:24, we learn of the Lord’s response to Israel’s groaning and despair over being in slavery in Egypt. We’re told that “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.” The very next chapter reveals his action: the calling of Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt.”
With God, remembering means acting.
When God remembers us, he always acts to save and bless us. He doesn’t just think of us for a moment and say, “Hey, I’m thinking of you, hang in there, thoughts and prayers” and then forget about us and move on to something else. He acts to save and to bless.
When looking at our sins – and the sins of the whole world – God chose to act and save us by sending his Son to pay the price of sin and set us free.
David writes about this “remembering” in Psalm 25:6,7: “Remember, O Lord, your compassion and your mercy, for they are from eternity. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways. According to your mercy remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.”
He covers both aspects of “remember” here. The positive – “Remember your compassion and mercy. Remember me according to your mercy, because of your goodness.” The negative – “Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways.”
Either way, in remembering or NOT remembering, God acts for our good. When God zacars us (or, does NOT zacar us) in regard to our sins, he does something about it. He sent his Son to live and die and rise again. Our sins are paid for, they are gone. He thinks of us, remembers us according to his mercy and compassion and goodness. And he does NOT remember our sins, they’re gone – drowned in the depths of the sea, removed from us as far as the east is from the west - thanks to his action on our behalf.
Our “remembering” doesn’t have that divine power. But remembering our Savior’s mighty acts gives us access to divine power. Remember your Baptism and faith receives a shot of spiritual adrenaline; at the same time, Satan and your sinful nature get whacked in the head with a divine 2X4. When we follow our Lord’s command and remember Christ during the Sacrament of Holy Communion, we receive that same boost to faith: personal assurance of forgiveness, a reminder that the Lord God remembers us and continues to claim us as his very own by grace.
Amazing, isn’t it? Grace beyond grace! God not only thinks of you, he not only remembers you, but he zacars you. When God remembers, he always acts to save and to bless.
Grateful with you in Christ,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand