Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon his name;
make his deeds known to all people!
Sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all his wondrous works!
Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
Pursue the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always!
Remember the wondrous works he has done,
all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—
you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,
and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord—he is our God.
His justice is everywhere throughout the whole world.
God remembers his covenant forever,
the word he commanded to a thousand generations,
which he made with Abraham,
the solemn pledge he swore to Isaac.
God set it up as binding law for Jacob,
as an eternal covenant for Israel,
promising, “I hereby give you the land of Canaan
as your allotted inheritance….”
Then God brought Israel out, filled with silver and gold;
not one of its tribes stumbled.
Egypt celebrated when they left,
because the dread of Israel had come upon them.
God spread out clouds as a covering;
gave lightning to provide light at night.
The people asked, and God brought quail;
God filled them full with food from heaven.
God opened the rock and out gushed water—
flowing like a river through the desert!
Because God remembered his holy promise
to Abraham his servant,
God brought his people out with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with songs of joy.
God gave them the lands of other nations;
they inherited the wealth of many peoples—
all so that they would keep his laws
and observe his instructions.
Praise the Lord! (CEB)
Every day I read in the psalms. There are two reasons I do this. First, the psalms are the church’s prayer book. They are more than reading material; the psalms are designed to be owned by us as prayers. And second, I need their reminders – a lot!
Remembering is a major theme throughout the entirety of Holy Scripture. It’s just part of the human condition, fallen and forgetful as we are, to lose sight of what has taken place in the past. Today’s psalm invites us to seek the Lord through remembering all the good and wonderful works he has done.
For Israel, remembering meant continually having Passover in front of them. God redeemed the ancient Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and into a good Promised Land. They were to never forget God’s miracle through the Red Sea, God’s protection over them from other nations, and God’s provision of food and necessities in the desert.
We are to remember because we are made in God’s image and likeness. God remembers. God has an ongoing reminder in a divine day timer – Fulfill the promises I made and keep the covenant I initiated with the people, even when they’re stinkers and forget who I am.
As old as God is, there is no danger of the Lord getting some sort of divine dementia. God doesn’t forget. The Lord always keeps promises made to people. For the Christian, all God’s promises are remembered and fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Deliverance from sin, death, and hell; the gift of the Holy Spirit; and ongoing presence and provision are given to us graciously and freely by the God who loves and cares for people. For Christians, remembering means coming to the Lord’s Table, entering the once for all loving sacrifice of Christ on our behalf.
One of the reasons I write and journal about my life and Scripture is to remember. Sometimes I forget. There are times when I’m overwhelmed with life and it feels as if God has forgotten me. In such times, I look back into my journal and see what God has done. And I peer into the psalms and see that the Creator God is active in the big, created world, always attentive to working what is just, right, and good – bending twisted circumstances and evil machinations back toward the great arc of love.
May your journey with Jesus in this season of Lent cause you to remember the Lord Jesus, to have Christ always before you.