Thursday, December 17, 2009

Remember (Part 3)

So, a hundred years ago, I started writing a series of notes/blogs on the subject of remebrance, particulary how God remembers. (Okay, maybe it wasn't QUITE a hundred years ago. Maybe it was more like this past August. But it FEELS like a hundred years ago.) Anyway, I've decided to pick that back up and finish it.

The idea for this series came after an excellent lesson from Beth Moore's "Believing God" study. In one lesson, she read from Joshua, where the Israelites cross over the Jordan and into the Promised Land, and as she describes God's instructions for the Israelites to set up a memorial to remember what the Lord had done for them, she talks about how she believes God is remembering His covenant that He made with Abraham.

A biblegateway.com search of the NIV yielded 233 occurrences of the word "remember". Of those, 182 were in the Old Testament. I've been looking at those, and in my last post, I wrote about the examples of people asking God to remember (or NOT remember) certain things, and His response to them. There were approximately 35 instances of that in the OT.

There are approximately 25 instances where God says He will remember something in particular. Let's look at some of the things He's said He will remember:

"I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."--Gen. 9:15-16

"Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived."--Gen. 19:27-29

"Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace."--Gen. 30:22-23

"Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the LORD for him.'"--I Sam. 1:19-20

"During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them."--Ex. 2:23-25

"'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God."--Lev. 26:40-44

"He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations"--I Chron. 16:15 "He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."--Ps. 98:3

"The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those who fear the LORD—small and great alike."--Ps. 115:12-13

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."--Is. 43:25

These are just a few of the examples that I found.

God remembered Noah and promised never again to destroy the earth by flood.

God rememebered His promise to Abraham and spared Lot from being destroyed when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

God remembered Rachel and He have her a son. God remembered Hannah and He gave her a son, too.

God heard the cries of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. He remembered His covenant with their forefathers, and He was concerned for them.

God has said that if His people would confess their sins, He would remember His covenant with them and relent from destroying them completely.

God will remember His covenant for a thousand generations. Because He remembers His covenant, all the ends of the earth have seen His salvation.

He will remember us and bless us.

He will even NOT remember our sins and blot out our transgressions.

I'm still noticing a pattern here... "God remembered and..." or "God will remember and..."

His remembrance is always followed by action. In my next (and final) post on this series (which will hopefully be written sooner than 4 months from now), we'll look at some scriptures where God commands US to remember...and what that means for us.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever... to the One who remembered us in our low estate; His love endures forever; and freed us from our enemies; His love endures forever."--Ps. 136:1, 23-24

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