GENESIS 8: GOD REMEMBERS
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But 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. (Gen. 8:1 NIV)
Later in Genesis, a man named Joseph is not “remembered” by someone important to him, but is instead “forgotten” (Gen. 40:23). How horrendous to be forgotten! It’s one thing, a terrible thing, to be intentionally abandoned by someone, rejected by someone. It’s even worse to be forgotten.
- Stranded at school or the airport by a parent or a friend who forgot to pick you up.
- Disappointed at day’s end when the call or the present never arrived because the parent, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, or the spouse forgot the birthday or the anniversary.
- Devastated after two hours at the restaurant when the loved one never showed and only offered the explanation, “I forgot.”
But it’s even more unbearable to feel forgotten by God.
- “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Ps. 13:1 NIV)
- “I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me?'” (Ps,. 42:9 NIV)
- “Has God forgotten to be merciful?” (Ps. 77:9 NIV)
Nothing can match that numbing feeling of sensing that the one we’re counseled to call Father seems to be acting in a way that indicates he’s forgotten us, his creation, his children.
- When the cancer diagnosis comes down.
- When flood waters rise.
- When a relationship breaks apart.
- When a dream dissolves.
- When a job is lost.
- When a child is taken.
- When a loved one dies.
Of course, there are plenty of times when we forget God (e.g., Ps. 106:21). For this reason, we are counseled over and over to “remember” him and his works (e.g., Ps. 103:2; 105:5; Deut. 5:15).
Still, what do we do in these times when we feel divinely forgotten? After all, even Jesus felt it–“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 NIV).
What do we do? We trust that God remembers. Two hundred and twenty two times the word “remember” from the first verse of Genesis chapter eight is used in the Old Testament. Many of those times it is attached to God.
- Despite the rain that fell nonstop for days, God remembered Noah, his family, and all the creatures of the ark. He did not forget them. He remembered.
- God would “remember” barren Rachel (Gen. 30:22).
- God would “remember” the slaves of Israel suffering in Egypt (Ex. 2:24).
- God would “remember” barren Hannah (1 Sam. 1:19)
- Psalm 115 simply proclaims: “The Lord remembers us and will bless us” (Ps. 115: 12 NIV)
God remembers. He remembers us. He remembers you.
Next time you feel forgotten, remember this: God remembers you.
Thank you Father for never truly forgetting me. Thank you for always remembering me. Help me to trust that even in those times when I don’t feel remembered, I am remembered.
Part of the way God demonstrates his remembrance of others is through you. When you remember someone through an act of kindness, it helps that person feel remembered by God. Show someone today that you remember him/her. Remember that person in the name of God, so that he/she will feel remembered by God.
Chris is a spiritual director, the author of seven books, a father to Jordan and Jacob, a husband to Kendra, and has preached for the Highland Church of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee since 1998.