Scripture Reading: Exodus 1:1-22, Exodus 2:1-25, Genesis 35:11-12, Matthew 2:13-23
To hear and remember are two different things altogether.
When I was young, and exceedingly rebellious, my parents would often call my specific species of disobedience “selective hearing.” But my excuse in return was often, “I know, Mom, but I forgot. I forgot to do what you asked. I forgot your rule. I forgot your request. I forgot to listen.” You moms know what I’m talking about. Whether it’s selective hearing, honest forgetfulness, or just plain old delayed obedience (which, as wise parents have told me is still disobedience), we’ve been coming up with excuses since history began.
To hear a thing and to remember it is a rare quality in all of us. We often hear the words people say but forget to be tender. Or we barely hear the words coming out of their mouths because we’re busy spending all of our energy coming up with some pithy words to say back. Far too often, we neither hear nor remember, and simply glaze over and zone out while others are talking. Our lack of attentiveness to the pain, needs, and preferences of others is apparent, and we don’t have to look far to find it. Worse still, it’s easy to project these human tendencies onto God, imagining He neither hears or remembers our prayers. But this is a distinctly human problem, there since the garden of Eden and the entrance of sin into the world.
What is staggering about this passage is amidst the trauma, murder, hurt, neglect, and systemic injustice the people of God were experiencing, God was still hearing their cries and remembering His covenant. He had not forgotten and was not deaf to their cries for help, rescue, relief, or home. “God heard their groaning; and God remembered his covenant” (Exodus 2:24). Even as the earthly and wicked leader grew old, frail, and died, God was still on His throne hearing, preparing, remembering, and moving on behalf of His people.
None of us are immune to pain this side of heaven; Christ assured us we would know sorrow in this world (John 16:33). We can probably all readily recall some recent and very real struggle in our own lives. Today, as we operate in our selective hearing of our Father or delayed disobedience to the Holy Spirit or constant forgetfulness of the work of Christ on the cross for us, let’s remember afresh that God never ignores us or forgets us. Our Father is a perfect parent and His Son is a perfect Son. He keeps His promises. He is always active, always attentive, always remembering, and always moving on behalf of His children.
On your behalf today, God hears and remembers. He is coming soon.
Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.