God remembers | Genesis 8:1-5
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. Genesis 8:1-5 | ESV
With us it means to recall information previously tucked away and forgotten. If God is all knowing (fancy word: omniscient), then how could he ever be in need of remembering anything that he had forgotten? Does he turn the kettle on and then walk off and forget about it until he hears the shrill whistle? Does he set his friend adrift on the mabbul in a dark, stinky box and then suddenly, six months later remember, “Hey, whatever happened to my friend…oh yeah! The box!” Not exactly. In the Middle Eastern mindset to “remember” is to act upon a previous promise or commitment, rather than to let it lapse. It’s an expression of trusting follow-through, of intentionality, of devotion. The three Hebrew characters of the tri-lateral verb root we translate “remember” taken together, picture a plough in the hand with our head (mind) as the field. It’s a picture of our mental soil sown with previous statements, vows, promises, commitments, being stirred and ploughed and ultimately harvested in a reality of the doing of the saying. So God remembers Abraham and rescues Lot from destruction; he remembers Rachel and blesses her with a son; he remembers his covenant with Abraham and centuries later – at just the right time – rescues his descendants from bondage in Egypt; and each time he sees thunderheads breaking loose in torrential rains, he remembers – and at just the right time – he puts a stop to it and the sun once again shines in its healing strength. So what we can really say here is that because God is all-knowing, he remembers. He remembers us. He remembers us as we are tossed on the waves of our own uncontrollable, unfathomable mabbul and – though it seems like an eternity inside our dark, dank, stinking hull of a box, at just the right time – and over that mabbul he begins to blow. He breathes a life-giving, mabbul-drying breath that enables our rudderless box to find its way to our own Ararat. God remembers. He remembers us. Which is a good thing for us to remember in our stinking, sinking boxes. Just listen for the wind.
How often do you feel forgotten in your own “ark” in the midst of your own flood? What can help us to trust while we listen for the wind?
Lord, rescue me from the ongoing folly of trying to huff and puff my way out of my own swirling, floody mess; settle my heart, quiet my spirit in the midst of my own dark and dank confinement and give me ears to listen for the wind of your Spirit. Through Christ.