It’s not what you think, it’s what you do
zâkar to remember, recall, call to mind
“I will remember My covenant that is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all flesh.” Gen 9:15 TLV
There are two competing ways of looking at Scripture, and those two way are coming into greater and greater conflict. This conflict was prophesied in Zechariah 9:13b:
“And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you as the sword of a mighty man.”
Those two viewpoints are Jerusalem versus Athens, or Zion and Greece. While much of Christianity is focused on Athens they are missing the richness of Jerusalem. We are grafted into Abraham and not Luther or Calvin and Yeshua is returning to Mt. Zion and not the Matterhorn.
This difference becomes highly apparent when we look at a word like zakar – “he remembers” in Hebrew. Hebrew (Zion) is a verbally based active language while Greek from Greece is a conceptual language, so a remembrance of action versus a remembrance of mind. How many Scriptures have you memorized which have no bearing on what you do? Hebrew remembering is always connected with action. To remember is to do something.
Consider our text. “I will remember My covenant. . .Never again will the waters become a flood. . .” The action is never again a flood.
With each of the following rememberings, what did God do?
“Then God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. So God caused a wind to pass over the land and the water subsided. Gen 8:1
What did God do?
“Then God remembered Rachel and God listened to her and opened her womb.” Gen 30:22
What did God do?
“Whenever you go to war in your own land against the enemy who is hostile to you, you are to sound short blasts of alarm. Then you will be remembered before Adonai your God and be delivered from your enemies.” Num 10:9
What was done for Israel when they were remembered?
“Then Samson called out to Adonai and said, “My Lord Adonai, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, so that I may this once take revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Judg 16:26
What did God do for Samson?
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Mat 5:23-24
What are we to do when we remember?
“Remember the prisoners as if you were fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you also were suffering bodily.” Heb 13:3.
What is it that those remembering are to do that goes beyond their thoughts of the others?
We are now going to the Ten Words – in Hebrew it is not Ten Commandments but words which are categories. Think about what it means here to remember.
“Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy. You are to work six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Adonai your God. In it you shall not do any work—not you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor the outsider that is within your gates. For in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Thus Adonai blessed Yom Shabbat, and made it holy.” Exo 20:8 – 11
By remembering Shabbat, what are all the things we are to do because we remember?
Who all are listed as not doing work? Why would cattle be listed? Why the outsider? Why those working for us (servants)?
What would our culture look like if we remembered Shabbat?
With remembering on our minds, what would be a practical thing that we could do to show we are remembering something or someone? Remember means doing something, not just letting a thought pass through our minds, just like Mary’s song in Luke 1.
“He has helped His servant Israel, remembering His mercy,” (v. 54) What did remembering bring?
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