I have been attending a School of Ministry based in a church in my area. I have been particularly enjoying the Old Testament Survey section and the required assignment of recording in a journal our daily readings from “The One Year Chronological Bible” in the New Living Translation version.
I have read through the Bible many times, and studied many of the books in both the Hebrew and the Greek. But to study it in this manner – in a meditational way – has been very refreshing and inspiring. The required journaling has caused me to rediscover precious gems that thread their way throughout the whole of God’s interpersonal relation with His people and His creation.
One of these gems has been the word “remember”!
It is amazing how central “remembering” is to God’s relationship with us and our relationship with Him. The purpose of the covenant signs were for “remembering” (e.g. Genesis 9:15-16; Numbers 15:39-40). I even began to appreciate how much God was trying to help the people of Israel “remember” through the intricacies of the Mosaic law and ritual. “Remembering” is even meant to be an essential part of the Sabbath – remembering what God has done that is good toward us.
The “heart of God” is “to remember us” always, as if God could ever “forget” us. Yet, our heart is not always so faithful. That is why God has put so many “reminders” of His love around us culminating in Christ and in His words, “This is My body which is for you… This cup is the new covenant in My blood… as often as you do this, do this … in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
As I have been reflecting upon the importance of “remembering”, I began to see two other principles of truth that are important to our prayers and intercessions. I offer this three-fold observation to encourage and enrich you to persevere in your relationship with the Lord and in the work of prayer for His Kingdom:
“Remember – what the Lord has done” so that you may …
“See – what the Lord is doing” so that you may …
“Know” (experientially) Who the LORD is.”
You see all three of these elements in David’s Psalm of praise that was written sought help from an enemy King of Israel while trying to flee from King Saul. David had foolishly “forgotten” God’s care of him, and sought his own refuge from King Saul. Yet, even in this mistake, David saw God’s Hand of deliverance for him, and wrote this Psalm to help him “remember” the Lord’s goodness.
Look how “remembrance” is woven into just this ½ of this 1 verse:
“O taste and see that the LORD is good;” (Psalm 34:8a)
Can you describe your favorite food? Where is your favorite place to eat this dish, dessert or delicacy? Who makes it the best?
Do you see how “taste” imprints upon our mind the memory of things important to us? We “remember” what we like. And the “tastes” we enjoy are the ones we to want to repeat. For example, I’m ½ Italian and I love the “taste” of garlic… it brings very special memories of family, home and celebrations to my mind.
In the Hebrew, this word is also connected to the word for “seer” or “prophetic vision”. The “taste” of something brings “revelation”. When we “see” , the character and nature of “what is” or of “what is happening” is revealed to us. And I can usually tell whether or not garlic is at work in a food I like!
The word “tov” in Hebrew is a neat word. It can also mean, “beneficial, pleasant, favorable, right, happy”. To me, those are all descriptions of how I feel about garlic (except in maybe ice cream)!
But to David, once he “tasted” the grace of God, again, David “saw” how God was at work for him, even in the midst of an extremely poor decision. And then David “knew” in an even deeper part of his memory the “goodness” of our God. Thus the circle continues – what we remember helps us see so that we might know and store in our hearts for the next time we are in need to remember.
And my remembering what God has done, encourages me so much in my own times of intercession … for myself and for others.
Be blessed! “O taste and see that the LORD is good…” when you pray, Beloved in the Lord.