Does God ever forget?

Two Sundays ago, during the preaching of the sermon, a verse in Exodus 2:24 (ESV) puzzled me. “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”

Imagine God has a giganotosaurus to-do list:

  1. feed the fishes;
  2. water the forest;
  3. …oops, what was happening to the Jews in Egypt?

Certainly not!!! The original Hebrew verb Zakar (I looked it up) does not mean “to remember”. It means to turn attention to and act on behalf of. So, God heard the groanings of the Jews and because of His covenant with Abraham, He turned His attention to Israel and proceeded to act on their behalf. 

Another example is found in Genesis 8:1 – “But God remembered Noah.”  Noah, his family and the animals had been in the ark for 150 days. God never forgot Noah. The time was right, so God turned his attention to Noah and made a wind blow over the earth. We can all be thankful that God does remember us: He sent His beloved Son to give us life and have it abundantly.

Yeo Khirn Siew