God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
Spiritual memory is important for our perseverance in the faith. We remember (deliberately call to mind) what God has said and done in the past.
This applies to our own experience. Whenever I look over an old journal, for example, I am often surprised, and encouraged, to see some of the things I have recorded.
It also applies to the experiences of fellow-Christians. Church history and Christian biography can provide fuel to feed the flames of our faith. We are energised by the stories of other churches and believers.
But most of all it applies to Scripture, where we have the inspired record of God’s words and deeds.
Verses 2-5 are in many ways an appeal to memory. See here:
- Who God is (2,3; see also 6 & 8): Note the inference that this is a new day. The Patriarchs knew the Name “Yahweh” (“the Lord”), but they did not know Yahweh in their personal experience – not in the way Moses and the Israelites were going to know Him. They didn’t understand the full implications of His Name. Warren Wiersbe makes the point that this is ‘the special name of God that links Him with Israel and His covenants, and it is so sacred to Jews even today that they will not speak it when they read the Scriptures in the synagogue. Instead, they substitute “Adonai” (Master) or simply say “the Name.” ‘ (Old Testament Commentary, p.154)
- What God has done (4): and there is within this, surely, a nod to what he is going to do;
- What God does (5): He hears the earnest cries of His people. When He says, “I have remembered my covenant” it does not mean He had suffered a temporary memory lapse. Rather it is a way of conveying that He had been waiting for the right time to act. That time was now. Faith in God includes trust in His timing.
PRAYER: Lord please help me to remember what you have done for me, what you have done for others, and, most of all, the things you have done and recorded in your Word.