‘Remember’ is a Significant Biblical ‘Re’ Word

In Old Testament Hebrew, ‘remember’ has several common synonyms including ‘recollect,’ ‘recount,’ or ‘to bring up a memory again.’

In the Old Testament the Israelites were told time and time again to remember the historical sovereign acts of God which He did on their behalf. In reality, Israel’s success or failures were based on what they had remembered, or forgotten.

In New Testament Greek, ‘remember’ also means to exercise one’s memory, or to bring to mind. ‘Remember’ is said to be a God given gift to keep certain thoughts and memories fresh in one’s mind for learning and interpretation of future events and circumstances.

In the New Testament the word ‘remember’ is used predominately to bring to mind what Jesus had taught.

Webster’s contemporary meaning is basically the same as the Hebrew and Greek, i.e. to consciously exercise one’s memory to bring to mind some past event or words.

Thus ‘remember’ corresponds with other significant ‘re’ words in the Bible such as ‘repent’ and ‘return’ meaning to ‘go back again.’

One of the earliest and most significant applications of ‘remember’ is found nearly immediately after Israel was redeemed out of bondage from Egypt.

And Moses said to the people: ‘Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place…’” Exodus 13:3

Israel was told numerous times throughout the Old Testament to remember their previous time of slavery and bondage in the hands of the Egyptians.

Following the giving of the law, Moses told the Israelites to remember all of God’s commandments. They were told to place tassels on their garments as reminders.

Again the LORD spoke to Moses… ‘And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them…’” Numbers 15:37, 39

And then just prior to crossing the Jordon the Israelites were told to remember how their God had provided for them during the wilderness journey.

And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you…whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2

Before possessing the land Moses wrote a ‘song’ describing Israel’s future history. The purpose of the song was to tell Israel in advance what they would do and think. The song was to be a testimony to them when the words of the song became reality.

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you…When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel…” Deuteronomy 32:7-8

Approximately 400 years later when David assumed the kingship of Israel, he placed the Ark of the Covenant in a tabernacle that he had erected for it in Jerusalem. On that day he offered the following psalm to thank his LORD God.

Remember his marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Israel His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones!” 1 Chronicles 16:12-13

David wrote numerous psalms extolling the sovereignty of his God. He wrote the following depicting the correct preparedness for battle.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7

All the military strength of a nation cannot compare to placing trust in God for victory.

And then David describes the everlasting mercy of God to those who remember Him compared to the transitory nature of mortal man.

As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field…For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him…and to those who remember His commandments to do them.”

Psalm 103:15-18

Is remembering God and His laws a priority for America today?

For more, see my latest book “Looking Backward from the Future: …Until Messiah the Prince”

Leave a Reply