One of the most meaningful words used in various places in the Bible is the word “remember.” This word in the biblical text means more than to merely recall something to mind. Once the mind recalls something, it acts on that memory. In 2009, I wrote a few articles about this and have regularly tried to apply this principle in my life.
- The Art of Remembering (part 1)
- The Art of Remembering (part 2)
- The Art of Remembering (part 3)
- The Art of Remembering (part 4): Forgiving Without Forgetting
Since we are called in Scripture to “remember,” it is helpful for us to consider how God remembers. Keep in mind it is not that God has had a mental lapse and has to conjure up a memory. The emphasis is that he acts on what is in his mind. Such is the case in 1 Samuel 1 when God intervenes in the life of a childless Hebrew woman named Hannah.
Hannah had a rival in her marriage. Her husband, Elkanah had two wives. The rival wife had already provided Elkanah with children and constantly reminded Hannah that she had not. During a visit to the temple, Hannah wept and prayed to the Lord that he would grant her a child. Her anguish was so strong that the priest saw her tears, saw her lips moving, but heard no words coming out. The priest thought she was drunk.
The result of her fervent prayers are recorded for us with these words:
They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.”(1 Samuel 1:19-20 ESV)
For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.(1 Samuel 1:27 ESV)