Revelations from the Word

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God remembered

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever" (Luke 1:46-55).

After 150 days God remembered that Noah was still in the Ark (Genesis 8:1). When He wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, God remembered Abraham and enabled Lot to escape from the middle of the disaster (Genesis 19:29). God remembered what He had said to Sara, and He fulfilled for her what He had promised (Genesis 21:1). God remembered Rachel; He granted her request and made her fertile (Genesis 30:22). God heard the groanings of His people and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 2:24). God remembered Anna, the wife of Elkana and she gave birth to Samuel in the course of the year (1 Samuel 1:19-20). The Hebrew verb zakar means 'to remember', "commit to memory'. It is in this way that God remembers [zakar] His ordinances to fulfil them towards those who keep His Covenant (Psalm 103:18).

Mary, the mother of Jesus, prophesied to remind the people of Israel that God was bringing up to date the promises made to Abraham some two thousand years earlier. God had made a Covenant with Abraham, and because of his faith, he had promised him numerous descendants (Genesis 15:-6). And it was by agreeing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, that he received a double promise, that of descendants as numerous a the stars in the sky and that of descendants as numerous as the grains of sand on the shore (Genesis 22:15-18). God confirmed the first promise to Isaac (Genesis 26:4), the son of promise, and the second to Jacob (Genesis 32:12). In this way the people of Israel were born through the natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Through Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, God recalled His Covenant and His promise made to Abraham, with the arrival of the Saviour, the 'Goel', who would redeem His people from the hand of His enemies in order that they might be able to serve Him without fear (Luke 1:67-75). The enemy was no longer slavery to the Egyptians as in the time of Moses, but subjection to the Law imposed on the people of God by the religious leaders. God has also remembered His goodness and His faithfulness towards the House of Israel in order that all the ends of the earth might see His salvation [Yeshua] (Psalm 98:3). Thus He desires that all the nations may be blessed through Abraham's posterity, that come forth from the promise, like Isaac (Galatians 4:28). And it is through His only Son, that He brings to life these numerous spiritual descendants like the stars in the sky, descendants obtained through faith in Jesus the Messiah. These descendants constitute the Church, which has authority over the gate of the place of the departed spirits and which has received the keys of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 16:18-19).