During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel--and God knew.
This year brings a milestone birthday for me. I don’t know if it’s the number of years God has granted me, or perhaps the number of children He has given us, but much as I hate to admit it my memory is not what it used to be.
Our memories are fascinating things. An incredible blessing from God, we cherish remembered moments with loved ones. But also memories can become clouded with perceptions, or fail altogether (all those husband jokes about forgetting birthdays or anniversaries).
If we are not careful we could make an inaccurate assumption about God’s memory by putting a human construction on the word “remembered” in Exodus 2: 24. We dare not think that God forgot the Israelites. He was in a covenantal relationship with them, bound together with the people as in a marriage. He knows them and is faithful.
The Lutheran Study Bible on page 843, says this “ ‘Remember’…Hebrew zakar ‘to recall’ or ‘keep in mind’. God could not forget his covenant with His people. When He ‘remembers’ them, He actively works to keep His promise to protect and save them.”
This is not just the Old Testament and past tense. We are new covenantal people. Baptized into the relationship with the triune God and brought into the covenant through Christ’s blood shed on the cross and received in the Lord’s Supper. God hears us, remembers us and is bound with us. He sees us, knows us and is faithful.
Heavenly Father, you hear us, remember us, see us and know us. Thank you for the covenant you have made and your faithfulness to us miserable sinners. Continue to bind us to yourself and strengthen us through your Word, and the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in faithfulness to you. Amen