We might say we need to remember that Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska for the seven across answer on a crossword puzzle, or that in ‘1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue’ for a rousing game of Trivia – facts, mere facts. However, remembering in the Bible is different. Jewish culture treats remembering as a behavioral response, just as hearing and obeying are synonymous. Some 235+ times remember is mentioned. In the Hebrew, it literally means ‘to properly mark, so as to recognize.’ The first mention is found in the story of Noah. God puts Noah, his family and the animals in a big boat, while outside the rains are in a downpour, the waters rise and the boat stays afloat for many days. “But God remembered Noah and all… and He sent a wind over the earth and the waters receded.” (Genesis 8:1). God marked Noah. His plan was implemented and in process. Genesis 9, the ark now sits on dry ground, Noah and family are out, the animals disperse, God promises not to destroy everything with water again, sealing His promise, He gives a rainbow as a reminder:
“I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 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.” (Genesis 9:13-16 NIV, emphasis mine)
The sign of the rainbow is a reminder to GOD – when the bow appears, He remembers, His response would be consistent with His covenant. He remembers, He rescues and He acts. Remember. Isaiah speaks on behalf of God, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25, see also Hebrews 10) God’s response is consistent with His character. His plan was implemented and in process.
God often directs His people in the Old Testament to remember their past and all that He had said and done for them: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you… Remember the Sabbath… Remember the law…” Why? So their behavioral response would reflect revelation, awareness of their God, and of relationship, they are His.
Jesus also speaks of remembering. The Last Supper, He instructs the disciples to take the bread and the cup, representing His body and blood and “Do this in remembrance of Me.”(Luke 22, 1 Corinthians 11) His plan was implemented and in process. We, who are heirs of all the promises (Galatians 3:29) are to remember. The call to remember goes beyond mental facts, beyond partaking of the bread and wine, it is a call for response – of recognition – ALL that He is, all that He did, we remember His covenant, His character… He remembers, He rescues and He acts -invoking a response on our part of worship and of lifestyle.
This world is loud and crazy busy – as we near Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (Happy Easter!) may we take pause of life, and of heart and properly mark Jesus! His plan was implemented and in process – “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Can I get an AMEN!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)