As those in the US know, yesterday (May 30, 2022) was Memorial Day. Each year at this time we honor the men and women who serve, or who have served, in the armed forces and particularly those who served in time of war. Each Memorial Day we remember those who put their lives on the line for the sake of others, and especially the tens-of-thousands who lost their lives in service to their countrymen. We remember them because they took action on our behalf.
Now changing gears just a bit, some of you may not know that today, May 31 2022, is Rosh Chodesh Sivan. In other words, this is the first day of the Hebrew month called Sivan. Among the prayers and customs associated with the celebration of the New Moon is the blowing of silver trumpets. We do this is in recognition of the instruction given in the book of Numbers which says:
Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.” (Numbers 10:10)
It seems to me that one of the reasons the silver trumpets are blown over the different offerings is to draw special attention to those offerings. I say that because those offerings are to be “a memorial for you before your God.” In short, our obedience and good works (e.g. offerings) accumulate before God as a memorial which, at the appropriate time, initiates a response from Him. He “remembers” these actions on our part and that prompts Him to take action on our behalf.
It should be easy for us to see the connection between a memorial and remembering; we demonstrate that every Memorial Day. However, in Hebrew thinking, remembering is also connected to action — particularly taking action on behalf of others. The Hebrew root word translated as “remember” and as “memorial” is one and the same. Furthermore, this root word, זכר zachar, literally means to “act on behalf of (another).”
When the Bible says that God “remembered Noah,” that is not to say He had temporarily forgotten about this guy and his family out there floating on the water. It is to say that the time had come for God to take action on his behalf. In Acts 10, the Bible records that the prayers and alms given by a man named Cornelius had come up before God “as a memorial” (Acts 10:5). It was then that God began to take action on his behalf which, in time, led to even greater action on behalf of many more gentiles.
So in light of Memorial Day and what that means to us as Americans — we remember them because they acted on our behalf — I’d like for us to remember that our good works and obedience to God is very important to us and our families. When we do the will of our Father, He takes note of it. In fact, the cumulative affect of our obedience can make the difference in our lives just when we need His help the most. One day, your obedience and good works will come up before God as a “memorial” and He will “remember” you and take action on your behalf. He will remember and, if necessary, make war against your enemies and deliver you from all harm. Therefore, “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). Be blessed.
Blessings and Shalom,
Bill & Beth