When God Remembers

April 19, 2024
David F. Brauch

Many people believe that memory is a key to a satisfying life. Yet as the years go by and we attain more knowledge, we reach a point where we start losing memory cells. Currently, some forms of dementia are at pandemic levels in the general population world-wide. It has been estimated that one of every two individuals reaching the age of 85 will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease.

However, there is great news. Our eternal, immutable, and omniscient God always remembers. The phrase “God remembered” typically implies that He is about to act on behalf of an individual or group. In addition, His remembering comprises ministering to the full realm of need that His created beings experience – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Note that Psalm 144:3 reads, “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?” God even remembers the sparrow: “…not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luke 12:6) Here are a few examples of the 73 times that the Bible records that “God remembered.”

God Remembered Noah

Perhaps, the most striking biblical example of God remembering both man and beast involved Noah when He granted survival from the most devastating world-wide event to date, namely the flood. His means was the ark. Note that Genesis 8:1 reads, “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.” Soon after Noah, his family, and the animals disembarked the ark, God initiated another promise of great significance. Genesis 9:15-16 states: “and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God has certainly delivered on that covenant made some 4000 years ago.

God Remembered Abraham

Additionally, God remembered Abraham and delivered on His promise to spare from death all the righteous people in Sodom. Thus, Lot and his immediate family were rescued. Genesis 19:29 reads, “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.” God’s remembrance took the form of a merciful, physical rescue of each family member, save for Lot’s wife who disobediently chose to look back (Gen. 19:26).

God remembered His promise made to each of the Old Testament patriarchs to give their posterity, among other benefits, a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 2:24 reads, “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” Psalm 105:8 states that God remembers this covenant forever – the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations. God never fails to remember the extent of all His agreements with mankind. In essence, they have no termination date.

God Remembered Rachel and Hannah

There are two remarkable Old Testament accounts of God remembering to grant baby boys to two God-fearing but barren and sorrowful women. Initially it was Rachel, for whom Jacob labored 14 years for the privilege of marrying. God opened her womb and gave her Joseph (Gen. 30:22-24). Moreover, God did the same for Hannah. 1 Samuel 1:19-20 reads, “…the Lord remembered her. So, it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son and called his name Samuel (meaning “heard by God”) saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.’” Thus, God’s remembrance of Rachel and Hannah benefitted them emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

God Remembers Israel

Throughout the history of Israel, its residents frequently accused Yahweh of forgetting the nation. In answering He stated in Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” There is an intensely strong affinity between a typical mother and her baby. The latter is continually in her remembrance – so God is with Israel.

God knows the frailty of mankind in general, and has continued to remember the instability, i.e., the fragility of each person’s constitution. Psalm 103:14 reads, “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Another verse which relates to this thought is Psalm 136:23: “Who remembered us in our lowly state, for His mercy endures forever.”

Christ Remembered During His Passion

During His earthly walk, our omniscient Lord was actively mindful of all things. At the beginning of His passion, He remembered the sufferings that were destined for Him. John 18:4 reads, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward, and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’”

During His passion, the repentant thief who was crucified alongside Him asked, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Jesus answered him (strongly and unequivocally), “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (v. 43). In essence He told him that He would remember him. Even while enduring excruciating agony He remembered His mother and arranged for her care with John the son of Zebedee (John 19:25-27). Moreover, John 19:28 reads, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”” The Lord, knowing the Scriptures said “I thirst” to fulfill them.

God Does Not Remember the Believer’s Sins

On the other hand, there are some situations where God deliberately chooses not to remember. One of these is when anyone confesses their sins to Him. Isaiah 43:25 reads, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” This promise to Israel is repeated in the New Testament for our benefit. Hebrews 10:16-17 states, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds, I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Our Great High Priest Remembers Us

Resurrected and now in heaven at the right hand of the Father, functioning as our Great High Priest, our Savior is mindful of us who constitute His Church. Hebrews 6:10 states, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

Let Us Remember Him

Finally, our Lord places a high valuation on our remembering Him as New Testament saints, for He established His remembrance feast saying “…do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; I Cor. 11:24-25). Is it not appropriate that to the best of our ability we honor the One who remembers us by remembering Him?

All scriptural references are from the NKJV