by Morey ~ June 3rd, 2010
The Bible tells us there are several books that are kept in heaven:
- The Book of the Living
- The Book of Life
- The Book of Tears
- The Book of Works
- The Book of Remembrance.
What I would like to focus on in this post is the Book of Remembrance. I think it has special significance to us, especially in these days when it is becoming increasingly difficult to be known as a Christian, because discovering the purpose of this book should give us comfort in the knowledge that God has not forgotten us.
We discover much about this book in Malachi:
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. –Malachi 3:16-17Malachi 3:16-17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV
16 Then they that feared Jehovah spake one with another; and Jehovah hearkened, and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith Jehovah of hosts, even mine own possession, in the day that I make; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Two verses prior to this verse, God is actually telling His people that they have a skeptical spirit and they murmur against Him saying such things as “It is vain to serve Him;” and “How is it going to profit us that we have kept His laws and walked around being all penitent?”
These people are talking among themselves – they are not discussing this with God, Himself, through prayer. They are murmuring and complaining. And they are doing all this after God has told them that if they tithe then He will bless them. This is the only place in the Bible, by the way, where God actually tells us to test Him on the benefits of giving tithes.
God heard all these people complaining or being skeptical even after hearing of the benefits of following God. (We all have that choice – we can follow or not follow – God wants willing followers. He will never force anyone.)
It seems they weren’t as prosperous as they thought they should be when following Jehovah. In verse 15 they say the wicked are the ones who God has favored. The proud are the happy ones; those who work wickedness have it made; and those that tempt God are delivered. What these discontents have seemed to forget is that those who do not follow God and seem to prosper in this life have their reward in this life. The promise of an eternal life with God is not made to them because of their discontent and scoffing.
But it is not only the malcontents that are talking among themselves – those who follow God are also talking to each other. These, however, are speaking of the goodness of God, praising Him and walking in fear or awe of Him. God hears these godly people and He his pleased. He writes in His Book of Remembrance the names of the godly – those who feared Him and meditated on Him.
God is so pleased with these people that he calls them His jewels and says He will spare them in judgment – just as a father spare his own son who has served him.
Does God need a Book of Remembrance?
No. As humans we cannot fathom God or any of his characteristics, (a major stumbling block for non-believers is that God knows each of us personally – we cannot understand this, and so to the atheist, we are stupid for believing such impossibilities). As imperfect humans, we cannot understand how anyone or anything can be better than we are and so we apply human standards to everything, including the Master and Creator of the Universe. It is almost like we are building the Tower of Babel all over again.
We limit God to our own limitations – how foolish.
The ones who need the Book of Remembrance are we humans. In fact, God knew this, and he named special occasions and had the people build monuments to commemorate an event. This is something the people needed to remember all that God had done for them. We find one specific reference to a monument in Joshua 4:1-7Joshua 4:1-7
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV
4 1 And it came to pass, when all the nation were clean passed over the Jordan, that Jehovah spake unto Joshua, saying, 2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 3 and command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of the Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the lodging-place, where ye shall lodge this night. 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 5 and Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of Jehovah your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; 6 that this may be a sign among you, that, when your children ask in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7 then ye shall say unto them, Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
God had led the people to the banks of the Jordan and after they had passed through the river He commanded that one man from each tribe of Israel was to gather a stone and erect a monument to the remembrance of the Lord’s work in the lives and safety of the people of Israel. (To be specific in this instance – when the Ark of the Covenant was carried into the waters of the Jordan at the place that the people were to cross over into the promised land, the waters parted, just as they had done at the Red Sea during the Exodus, and the people crossed over on dry land. This is what God wanted the people to remember.)
It is we who need the Book of Remembrance and the other monuments to remind us of God’s grace and mercy. It is we who need to recall the “stones” of remembrance that have been set-up along the paths our life has taken through the years – just as God instructed the Israelites to build a monument there at the Jordan.
When the circumstances of our lives seem to be going against us and things seem hopeless, we need to think about all the times that God has come to our aid by recalling all the stones along the path we have walked – the stones that signify such events as recovering from a severe accident; marrying the perfect man or woman to fulfill our life; the rescue of a child from a deathly illness; the safe travel through an area later found to be filled with danger; the successful release from an addiction to drugs or smoking or alcohol.
If God has remembered us during times such as those examples above, why would he forget us now – at a time when He is needed the most? The answer is: He won’t. He may be waiting longer than we like, but He always has His reasons. Do not doubt, He is with us at all times.
God knows us and remembers us. Grab onto that and never let go.
As followers of the one true God we can be assured that God will not forget us and that we will be forgotten at the end of our days here on Earth.
May God bless you in all you do and in every way.