Not Forgotten (Part I)

I’m sure each of us has at sometime been forgotten by a friend or loved one or fellow worker or…(and the list goes on).  Maybe someone made a promise they never kept and left you discouraged and possibly angry. Have you ever felt forgotten by God?  Do you ever wonder where He is when you really need Him?  It seems that every time a tragic event takes place—like the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York on 9-11-01— there are those who ask, “Where was God?”  Implied in the question is that either God is incapable of coming to our aid, or He is unaware of what is happening, or He doesn’t care. Obviously, we know from Scripture that none of these is true, for God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and cares deeply about us and what is happening to us at any given time. But in God’s infinite wisdom, He has a plan and purpose which He is carrying out which cannot be thwarted.  God never has to have a “plan B”!  But, He will always act on His timetable, not ours.
     There is an interesting statement in Genesis. God had Noah prepare an ark which would provide safety for him and his family during the judgment of the flood which covered the earth. After “He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the earth…and the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days” (Gen. 7:23,24), it says, “But God remembered Noah…and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided” (Gen. 8:1).  When it says, “God remembered Noah” it doesn’t imply He had forgotten all about him bobbing around in the giant barge filled with animals. Rather, it refers to God’s faithfulness in paying attention to the needs of His children. God is never aloof or otherwise occupied and not able or interested in coming to our aid. He is always there and will perform His purposes in His time.   
    God, speaking to and through the prophet Isaiah, said, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purposes will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…Truly I have spoken, truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it’” (Isa. 46:9b-11).  God is never taken by surprise, is never overwhelmed by any situation, and never forgets us. To Israel, who throughout her history probably often felt forgotten by Him, God said: “Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me” (Isa. 44:21). 
    When Nebuchadnezzar and his army conquered the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin in 596 B.C., 3,023 Jews were taken to Babylon (Jer.29:1 cf 52:28). They had now been there for 70 years and were undoubtedly discouraged and wondering “Where is God when we need Him?”  Jeremiah sent them a letter encouraging them, including these words from God: “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you (Jer. 24:6,7; Zeph. 2:7), to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope…And I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile’” (Jer. 29:10-14).
     Many of the Jewish people may again be wondering if God has forgotten them as they see the growing anti-Semitism worldwide and the plans that some of her neighboring nations have to push Israel into the sea and wipe her off the map. But, just think of the history of that little country since she once again became a nation in May of 1948. Think of all the attempts of enemy nations to destroy Israel. How did they do?  Has God forgotten Israel? Has He forgotten His covenant with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and David?  Not at all. In fact the very existence of that little nation the size of Rhode Island and the influence she has had and still has on the world is strong evidence for the existence of Jehovah God who has protected His chosen people and will continue to do so. He most assuredly has not forgotten them.  Just as promised in Isaiah, God will accomplish His purposes and carry out His plans and will not forget His people. In fact, as we see in the letter to the Romans, one day “all Israel will be saved” (Ro. 11:1-27),  and God will fulfill all His promises to the Jews of a King and a Kingdom here on earth where Christ will reign on the throne of David for 1,000 years of peace and prosperity.
     Just as God will not forget the Jewish people, neither will He forget His children today. He knows all about your situation right now and is using it to accomplish His purpose in and through you—in His way and in His time. Just remember, “When you can’t see His hands, trust His heart.”  He will never leave you or forsake you (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5).  “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that is happening along the way” (Pr. 20:24 LB). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Pr. 3:5,6 NASB), i.e., He will make the course of your life spiritually successful.
     Forever His,
            Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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