Celebration of Caring: God remembers His People - 6 May 2019

Louise Gevers

“Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; … For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the LORD has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ...’” Isaiah 49:13-16

In the Bible, to “remember” isn’t just to bring something or someone to mind, but to act with love and concern towards them. When you’re small and in trouble, you feel lost and alone. The only face that you really want to see belongs to the person who loves you and will make everything alright. Deep down adults are no different. So, knowing that God remembers us is really something to celebrate. His power is limitless; He is the only one who can truly make things “alright”. He puts a new perspective on the trials and difficulties that often make people doubt Him.

God is emphatic that He cares: He has engraved the names of His children on the palms of His hands. Israel sometimes felt that God had forgotten them, or was far away because He was angry with them, but His deep commitment and immeasurable love for all people are unmistakable in the Bible. When we sin, or forget Him, it’s easier to say that God isn’t there, or doesn’t care, instead of wrestling with the truth.

Did Noah feel confused in the ark? He and his family – eight people in all – along with countless animals, birds and other creatures had been saved from the flood that destroyed the earth; but they sailed the choppy waters for ahundred and fifty days in the downpour, without any evidence that God had remembered them. It must have felt endless, and hopeless, at times. But God’s plan was not to forget the faithful man who had steadfastly followed His instructions in the face of ridicule. “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (Genesis 8:1)

Figuratively speaking, we might find ourselves in a similar situation to Noah: we’ve followed God’s leading, but are enduring a storm of many days, or months, with no end to our predicament in sight. Should we doubt Him, or our obedience, because as yet we’ve had no sign that He’s remembered us? 

Never lose heart. Throughout the Bible there are references to God remembering ordinary people, just like us. He never changes; He will do the same for us. He remembered Abraham and saved his nephew; (Genesis 19:29) Rachel (Genesis 30:22) and Hannah (1 Samuel 1:19) and gave them babies; the enslaved Israelites (Exodus 2:23-25) and freed them; the Roman Cornelius and gave him the Gospel (Acts 10). He remembers us all and will help; just explore His Word.

Prayer: “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely ...” (Psalm 139:1-4) Oh LORD, I rejoice that You remember me with your love and care. Amen

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