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Remember Remember – Ezra 2

Click here to read Ezra 2 on BibleGateway.com

rememberThere’s a lot to be thankful for in this modern world.  The Interwebs give us access to just about any information we need at the touch of a button, not to mention the occasional dancing fox or two.  We can cross the globe in a few hours, only to discover that we don’t really like “authentic” Chinese food after all (hello, eyeball stew).  Not to mention refrigeration; raise your hand if you miss the rancid meat of the days of yore.   Can you imagine food poisoning when you’re locked in a suit of armor? Ish.

The New Year is usually a time when we look ahead and envision all the new joys and conveniences that are sure to come our way in the next twelve months.  It’s good to get a fresh start. Even the Bible reminds us that God’s mercies are new every morning. There’s something comforting to know that no matter what we’ve done in the past, God can start over with us at the point we are right now.


However, all the appreciation and anticipation of the New doesn’t mean we should just forget what happened in the past.  In our chapter today, we read about several families that come to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile and claim to be Israelites, yet over the years their families have lost their records.  Whether they never believed that the Jews would ever return or just simply forgot to keep track, the end result was that they could not prove they were of the right family to serve in the temple.  They had let the day to day worries of life take precedence over who they were in God, and had lost the opportunity to be close to God’s presence.

God repeatedly tells us to “remember” throughout the Bible. Even one of the Ten Commandments says to “remember” the Sabbath. What does it mean to remember? Does that mean to just not forget what day Sunday is (or Saturday if you’re a scholar and/or somewhat a pretentious jerk).  Does God think we won’t be able to remember to take a day off every seven days? Clearly there’s more to it than that.

Remembrance in the Bible has less to do with forgetfulness and more to do with elevating something to a position of importance within your thinking. When God “remembers” Israel in Egypt, that doesn’t mean that they slipped his mind. It means that the time was now ripe for the next step of his plan.  When God tells us to “remember,” He is saying “keep this at the center of your mind.” When the Israelites didn’t keep God at the center of their lives, they “forgot” their destiny.


In what may be the most important moment of Jesus’ life, he turns to his disciples and says “remember me when you do this.” Jesus is saying “elevate me and what I do tonite” to a place of honor in your lives. This is not a reminder from Siri that you need to take some bread and wine this morning at church. This is Jesus telling his followers that nothing is more important than His sacrifice and our relationship to it. Jesus knew that the troubles and worries of life would come along and distract us from what was really important. He implores us to remember.

This year, as we look forward to what God will do in the twelve months, let’s not forget what He did this past year. Let’s “remember” Christ.  Take a minute and think about the prayers you prayed this year.  How many did God answer (even if not in the way you wanted)? How may of those things you were so worried about actually happened?  What happened this year that brought you closer (or farther) away from God?

If we remember, this may just be the year that God calls us into his service or deeper into his presence.  Isn’t that what the New Year is all about?

One thought on “Remember Remember – Ezra 2

  1. Remember, zachar (זכר) in Hebrew, is as you say and more. It is the same Hebrew word for ‘male’ and literally means ‘protrude’. The concept is to speak and act on behalf of someone else and requires the one who remembers to initiate. It is as Jesus commanded us with the Great Commission to ‘go forth’, not ‘think about being my witnesses’ or ‘wait for people to come to you’. Thanks for the encouraging message :).

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