44 “Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God.
45 “But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.'”
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins.”
I am so glad the Lord doesn’t have a memory like mine. It has become very clear to me lately that I remember almost no one from my youth. I remember trivia, and I remember films and books and crossword puzzle answers, but, please, don’t ask me to remember names and faces. Recently, I have gotten better at remembering people. Actually, it’s just since I’ve come to the Lord that I remember people better. I like to think it is because I care more about people. Perhaps that explains why God NEVER forgets us: He loves us too much to forget us.
The really wonderful thing about God’s memory is how selective it is. In today’s first verses from Leviticus, the Lord tells Israel that even when they have forgotten Him and chased after foreign gods, He will nonetheless remember His covenant with their forefathers, and He will save them. In that case, God is really being the perfect Father, always loving His own even when they don’t always love Him. It’s gratifying to know God loves us that much.
But just as God remembers and never breaks His covenants with us, we must remember those covenants, too–and especially the new covenant in Jesus’ blood. (Matthew 26:28) God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to tell us about that covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and He said there that the new covenant will not be one we would easily forget like the old covenants. No, this time His Word is written on our hearts, and people know Him from the inside because of His constant presence in their lives. And we will know Him as our Lord, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31b)
And that verse from Jeremiah brings us to our second verse today, from Isaiah. Through both prophets, the Lord said He would no longer remember our sins. God chooses to forget the ways in which we have wronged Him, our rebellion and pride, our outright sin and our easy yielding to temptation. All of that is water under the bridge–or, to be more precise, blood on the Cross. You see, it was the blood of Jesus that bought us God’s forgetfulness.
“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Through Christ, it is as if our sins never existed, as if we are now and have always been like Christ Jesus Himself. For He, through His death, paid the penalty for our sins, wiping the slate clean. And so God, having sent His only Son to be the sacrifice for our sins, remembers our sins no more. That is His part of the covenant, the part He always remembers, the part that says He is ready to share the inheritance of His Son with all whom He has chosen.
OUR part of the covenant is to remember to repent of those sins and believe on Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. Our part is to remember that we have been bought at a price–the death of God’s only Son–and that we are no longer our own but His. (1 Corinthians 6:20) Our part is to remember we are a new creation in Christ, to remember His Spirit will always be with us, to remember to love God.
God’s memory is not fickle, not prone to the holes and lapses I have. God always remembers us, always remembers His love for us, always remembers His covenant with us. And because of that covenant, He remembers us not as horrid sinners but as shining brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. He chooses to remember our sins no more, casting them as far as the east is from the west. (Psalms 103:12) What should we do in return?
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
Remember the Lord God.
Remember His Word.
Remember His covenant.
Remember Christ Jesus, His Son.
Remember to repent.
Remember to believe.
Remember to love.
Father God, I thank You every day for remembering me, for having sent Your own Son so that my sins may be forgotten. Thank You, too, Lord, for writing Your Word upon my heart so I remember it and keep it. Remember my family, O Lord, and remember my friends. Remember those with whom I have shared Your gospel. And I pray, precious Lord, that You will forgive and forget my secret faults and make be a better child to serve You always. Amen.