Does God Forget?
"Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope" (Psalm 119:49).
What types of people do you need to say “Remember” to?
People who forget.
Just recently, several unnamed members of my family forgot to put dishes in the dishwasher. So, I reminded them, but surprisingly, they didn’t seem to appreciate my reminder.
As I was working on this I couldn’t remember if I’d blogged on this topic before, so I did a quick search and found this post on “Delighting and Forgetting” based on Psalm 119:16. Similar, but different.
One would think that divine beings wouldn’t need to be reminded, right? Does God forget? I think that the “right” answer is “no,” but then I read the Bible and I’m not so sure.
The author of Psalm 119 is not unique in regards to reminding God. Interestingly, lots of people in the Old Testament feel a need to remind God to remember.
- Moses (Exo. 32:13)
- Samson (Judg. 16:28)
- Hannah (1 Sam. 1:11)
- Solomon (2 Chron. 6:42)
- Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 20;30)
- Nehemiah (Neh. 1:8; 5:19)
- the psalmist (Psa. 74:2; 89:50)
- the author of Lamentations (Lam. 5:1)
(Notice how I arranged those from shortest to longest? Freaky, huh?)
That’s an impressive list of divine reminderers (I spelled it that way intentionally). Do all these people think God forgets? I’m not sure, but they clearly think it’s OK to nag God about his responsibilities ("Put your dishes away. Remember your word to your servant.")
So, why does the author of Psalm 119, and all these other OT people, tell God to remember?
- Because God forgets?
- Because it seems like God forgets?
- Because the psalmist forgets that God doesn’t forget?
The answer to this question is not clearly found in this verse, but I’m certain that there are times that I forget (#3) and that it seems like God is forgetting (#2).
And I’m also certain that even though I get offended when people remind me about something (“Don’t you trust that I’ll remember?”), God doesn’t. If he does get offended, he shouldn’t have authorized so many of his godly people in Scripture to remind him to remember.
Lest we accuse the psalmist here of arrogance to remind God, he does refer to himself as God’s servant, and the psalmist is clearly in a place of desperation, waiting in hope for God to act.
Once again, Psalm 119 provides a model of bold prayer for us, reminding us to remind God. Don’t forget.
What do you remind God of? Which answer (choice 1, 2 or 3) would you give for the question above?
- Courtney Rowland published the blogpost Tomato and Corn Chopped Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost How to Lead and Leverage the Opportunities in Difficult Times.
- Mike Mobley published the blogpost Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage.
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost Summit, SEBTS, & Bridgehaven Partner to Offer Biblical Counseling Certificate.
- Jonathan Pearson published the blogpost 3 Lessons About Life From the Big Bang Theory TV Show.
- Adam Smith published the blogpost The 13-Step Plan to Run a World-Class Bad Meeting – Glenn Brooke.
- solomon david published the blogpost Guide to WordPress Affiliate Store Development With Different Methods.
- Brandon Swafford just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Shane Blackshear published the blogpost Seminary Dropout 50: Margot Starbuck on God, Writing & Public Speaking.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost When life’s storms hit, is a parent’s job ever really done?.
- Preston Yancey published the blogpost when these are some of my favorite recipes, a gift when you preorder my book.
- Jed Davis published the blogpost Don’t Be Guilty Of The Silent & Slow Death Of Your Faith.
- Brian Niece published the blogpost Being the Church Around a Meal // from the archives.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost McLane Stadium first to offer collegiate replays on fans’ mobile devices.
- Chris Wilson published the blogpost This One Question Will Change Your ToDo List. Why?.
- Ashley Howland published the blogpost Pastor: My respect for Robin Williams has never been stronger.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost What Does It Mean To Take A Middle Schooler Seriously?.