Genesis 8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. Genesis 19:29 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 the which Lot dwelt. Genesis 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
I don’t believe there has ever been a man who felt as helpless as Noah. He had no chart or compass, no sail or rudder. He was totally dependent on God. We need to be like that. As things go smoothly we do okay, but as soon as it gets rough we want to direct our own life. Noah had no land to land on. What would land look like after such a flood? He was in a miserable state, but the Bible says God remembered Noah.
It’s good to know we have a God who remembers. In the second passage we’re told God remembered Abraham. This was in the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham interceded for Lot, and God brought him out. Peter tells us that God delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;). Lot lost his testimony. He should have gotten out of there upon seeing the wickedness. When given a choice by Abraham he chose the plains, probably not intending to get involved. Yet he did. Remember sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay, and cost you a higher price than you thought you’d pay. As old Barney Fife used to say: we have to ‘nip it in the bud.’ When allurements of sin get in the way, we need to get on our knees. Paul tells us in Corinthians that God always makes a way of escape in the temptation.
God remembers his own. Rachel was barren. She had probably cried that God had forgotten her and didn’t care about her. We all can get into a pity party. Leah and the two handmaids had all given Jacob children, but none came from Rachel. But God remembered Rachel. Another barren woman is Hannah. I preached about her on mother’s day. God remembered her and gave her the son she asked for. I want to give you some things God remembers.
(1) God remembers his Word. In Exodus 2, the children of Israel cried out because of their bondage in Egypt. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. God made a covenant, and he always keeps his Word. This Bible is a promissory note. Many promises are made to you and me.
(2) God remembers his people. He is bigger than the government, bigger than Washington. He’s the one who takes care of us. Even in the midst of what we’re going through, God is still in control and still on the throne. Nothing worries God. He has never gathered a council together to try to decide what to do. In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us that God takes care of the birds. Can he not care for us? Even our hairs are numbered.
(3) God remembers our labors of love. You may think no one notices what you do. Hebrews 6:10 says For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Don’t labor for your own glory. Do it all for the glory of God. When you hear God say “well done” it will be worth it all. God remembers the intent of the heart. He knows if loving him is our motivation. In Genesis we’re told the story of Joseph. He ended up in prison. He interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker. Both things happened just as Joseph said they would. The butler was restored to his position; Joseph asked him not to forget about him, but he did. There are many things we forget. (a) Sometimes we forget our salvation. We lose the excitement we had when we first got saved. Remember it? The load of sin was gone and we rejoiced. (b) We forget God’s blessing. On the way to church this morning Deb pointed out several things to be thankful for. I am blessed beyond measure. We get a sore toe and complain. We should remember that some people don’t have feet. We’re blessed! Go to a nursing home. They will bless you more than you bless them. That God for your health. (c) We forget the chastening of God. A good, old fashioned spanking won’t hurt any kid. God’s method can’t be improved. If we remembered the previous spanking, we wouldn’t have done it again. We forget the Lord’s chastening. He chastens those he loves. As his children we cannot do what we want. He corrects us. I’m thankful he does. We correct our children because we love them; that is why God corrects us. Peter took his eyes of Jesus and began to sink. He looked at the circumstances. If this pandemic is bigger than Jesus, then you’re looking at it wrong. This is certainly a serious thing. It’s real. But God help us to see him.
(4) God remembers the sins of the impenitent, those who show no shame or remorse. They are unrepentant. This describes our society. Look at these scriptures. Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. You’re not going to get around that. Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Hosea 9:9 in regards to Israel God said: They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins. Ecclesiastes 11:9 says to the young: Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. We’ll not get around this. Sow. Reap. It’s a process.
God remembers, but he also forgets. One thing he forgets is our sins when they are forgiven and covered by the blood. Isaiah 43:25 says I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Sometimes remembering our sins does us some good. I was a sinner on my way to hell, but God came by. The devil might remind God of my sins, but he’ll say ‘what sins are you talking about?’ That’s the heart of God. He’s still good! God can forgive and forget. We don’t have that capacity. We can’t erase things from our memory. God took our sins and washed them. He forgives and forgets. Where are they? Under the blood! In the depths of the sea! As far as the east is from the west! The past is forgotten.
If your sins are piled high. If they are black as night. If they are as wicked as Judas’. Jesus Christ will forgive you. Jesus came to save sinners. The woman at the well had no morals, but she met Jesus and ran to town saying ‘come see a man who told me all things I ever did.’ The woman caught in the very act of adultery was brought to Jesus. He stooped and wrote on the ground. He said ‘let him without sin cast the first stone.’ One by one they left. Jesus asked her where the accusers were. She said she had none. He said ‘neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.’ They all were guilty, but God saved them. Jesus stopped at the tree Zacheaus climbed and told him to come down because he was going to his house that day. Jesus saved me and went home with me. He’s worth serving.
You can leave here on Cloud 9 today. If you need your sins forgiven, God will do it. God loves you. Jesus died for you. He wants to save you. He’ll do for you what he’s done for others.