The Scriptorium

God Remembers

And so should we. Exodus 2.23-25

Gleanealogy: Gleanings (4)

Pray Psalm 105.42-45.
For He remembered His holy promise,
And Abraham His servant.
He brought out His people with joy,
His chosen ones with gladness.
He gave them the lands of the Gentiles,
And they inherited the labor of the nations,
That they might observe His statutes
And keep His laws.
Praise the LORD!

Sing joyfully and with thanksgiving Psalm 105.26-45.
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
He brought His people from Egypt alive, and made their joy and song revive.
He made the nations’ land their own, and all the wealth that they had known.

To them He granted the promised land, the portion of His gracious hand.
Though they were few, and wandered far, He kept them close within His heart.

So let us all in our Savior confide, and in His holy Law abide.
Let us observe His glorious Word, and praise our sovereign, faithful Lord!

Read
Exodus 2.23-25.

Prepare.
1. What did God hear? Why did He hear this? Does He still hear such things?

2. What does it mean to “remember” something?

Meditate.
The genealogies of Scripture illustrate a very important characteristic of God that we sometimes lose sight of amid the vicissitudes and uncertainties of life.

God remembers.

This word (the Hebrew is זֵ֫כֶר zachar) means much more than what typically comes to mind when we use it. When we say “remember” it is simply to say that we have recalled something that had slipped our mind (Oh, gotta go, I just remembered that I…”); or that we have not forgotten something we intend to do (“I remember saying that, and I’m working on it…”); or that something we once knew begins to materialize in our minds at its mention by someone else (“Ah, yes, I remember him…”). In each case, the suggestion is implied of a kind of, or at least the possibility of, a mental lapse. Something once on our minds either drifted off for a season, or may drift off if we don’t tie a string around our finger.

This is not what the verb remember means with God. In the case of God, remember means something like gives continuous and vital attention to. There is no sense in which, for example, God for a moment forgot that His people were captive in Egypt (after all, it had been 400 years!). Quite the opposite is intended. Through all that time, God remembered His covenant and His people; and He cared for them unceasingly, with a view to readying them for the great events of Exodus-Joshua.

The genealogies, with their sometimes tedious lists of names, remind us that God remembers the names of the people with whom He has entered into covenant. And He remembered their needs, remembered His promises to them, and did not fail to keep them in mind or to care for them continually. At the same time, God remembers all the works of His hands, and attends diligently, constantly, and fruitfully to all that He has created, that it might serve as the proper place on which His people might fulfill His project of redemption.

God remembers. He remembered all those names, and caused them to be written in the pages of His Word, as a reminder to us that, though we are part of a multitude of covenant people more than anyone could ever number (Rev. 7.1-10), our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and our God remembers His promises to us, remembers us and our needs, and remembers to bless and sustain and prepare us for Himself, every moment of every day of our lives.

As you read these genealogies, give thanks and praise to the God Who remembers you and everything about you, as well as all that Christ has done for you, and everything He has promised you for now and forever.

Reflect.
1. Contemplate the idea that God remembers you. How does this make you feel? What do you want to say to Him in return?

2. Why is it important to know that God remembers, even when we are going through difficult times (Rom. 8.28)?

3. Write a prayer, thanking God for remembering you, which you can use when you come to any of the genealogies of His Word. Meditate on the people in those genealogies, and all the care and attention that God gave them during their lifetimes. Thank Him in detail for the ways He remembers you.

As to what is added, that "God remembered his covenant," it is the explanation of the cause why he heard their groaning, viz., that he might ratify his gratuitous promise made to Abraham and his descendants. He expressly mentions the three patriarchs, because God lodged his covenant with them, that it might continue firm for perpetual generations. And, indeed, since God is inclined towards us to help us of his own free mercy, so he offers himself, and invites us voluntarily; and therefore confidence in prayer must only be sought for in his promises.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Exodus 2.23

Thank You, Lord, for including me in Your
people, and for giving me a place – my Personal Mission Field – to work on Your project, which today will require me to…

Pray Psalm 105.1-11.
God remembers His covenant and all those who are in it (Ps. 105.8, 42). How should we remember “His marvelous works which He has done” (v. 5)?

Sing Psalm 105.1-11.
Psalm 105.1-12 (Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Give thanks unto the Lord Most High; call on His Name, before Him cry!
Make known His deeds in every land; sing praise for all the works of His hand.

Glory in God, rejoice in heart, all you who seek His holy part.
Him and His strength and presence seek; His works proclaim, His judgments speak.

You holy children of Abraham, You chosen ones of Jacob, stand!
He is our Lord, of wondrous worth; His judgments are in all the earth.

He will His covenant faithfully guard – His oath, the promise of His Word.
That which He to our fathers swore, He will perform forevermore!

T. M. Moore

The genealogies of Scripture reveal the heart of God in His covenant relationship with His people. To learn more about God’s covenant, order our book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here. You can learn to sing all the psalms to familiar hymn tunes by ordering a copy of The Ailbe Psalter (click here).

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore