Sometimes when we are walking with the Lord, we can often times feel like God is not hearing us. This is quite common in the Christian life. We know that we need to grow spiritually, or we need something materially and while waiting on the Lord, it seems like to us, that He forgets us.
Many of the Psalms are written from this point of view. Psalm 13 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? Ho long shall I take counsel in my should, having sorrow in my heart daily?
You can almost hear Noah saying that from inside the ark. He has been there a year… floating on the ocean…it is very lonely…on the deck…nothing in site for miles, in any direction…just water…How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?
We, like Noah, needed to be reminded that God remembers. God Remembers His Children. And just like Noah, we need the reminder of His remembrance.
Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark.
More technically, “the statement that God ‘remembered’ Noah does not denote a matter of mere recall or retention. The Hebrew words bears the additional idea of one’s acting upon the remembrance. It simply denotes action.”
What this verse means is not that God forgot and suddenly looked down and remembered Noah. It wasn’t a “oh yeah, there you are!” moment for God.
God is omniscient in regards to His knowledge. Omniscience is “all-comprehensive.”The way we understand this is that “God knows Himself and in Himself all things that come from Him. He knows all things as they actually come to pass, past, present and future, and knows them in their real relations. He knows the hidden essence of things, to which the knowledge of man cannot penetrate. He sees not as man sees, who observes only the outward manifestations of life, but penetrates to the depthsof the human heart. Moreover, He knows what is possible as well as what is actual; all things that might occur under certain circumstances are present to His mind.”
In other words, we know that God knows all things. He was not ignorant of the fact that Noah was on the water. He did not forget Noah at all. Remember when Elihu confronts Job and his friends, he gives them a clearer understanding of who God is. One of the things he points out to the four men is that God is not deficient in any way, especially in regards to His knowledge. Job 37:16 “Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” There are other verses that point to God’s perfect knowledge. The point is that Noah was not forgotten.
When the Bible talks about God remembering someone, it is an expression used to show us that He is about to act on behalf of that person. When He remembers, it means He moves on behalf of the one He remembers, for we know He never forgets anything… except the sin atoned for by His Son. (He blots out our sin…)
The point is that when God remembers His saints, or His promises we see that this is when He is about to move in the lives of believers. We also see this in His dealing with Abraham.
Genesis 19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain (Sodom and Gomorrah), that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.God moved on behalf of Abraham’s request… and spare Lot.
We see that God also remembered Rachel, who was barren, and God listened to her and opened her womb. Again, this is not pointing to a God who has a memory problem, but showing that He is about to move in the life of a believer.
We also see God remembering the covenant He made with Abraham, just before He moves the nation out of the bondage of Egypt. Genesis 2:24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
God uses this anthropomorphic term in Scripture to show us He is about to do something. Let us pray that He remembers us and moves in us.
John D. Currid, Genesis, Vol. 1, p. 202.
Berkhof, p. 67