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To be Remembered or not to be Remembered

Rev. Enoch Thompson | January 21, 2024 | Nehemiah 13:29-31



Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. Nehemiah 13:29 (NIV)



We are in the last lines of the Book of Nehemiah, and Nehemiah is as burdened for Israel as he was from the beginning. His concern has shifted from the broken walls of Jerusalem to the broken morals of the Jews, and in the corruption that had eaten into the bones of the priesthood. The nation’s existence had been envisaged as a nation of priests, with the Aaronic and Levitical priesthood as a priesthood class within a priestly nation.


Nehemiah calls for divine remembrance on two fronts; first, he calls for divine remembrance of the defiling of the priestly office, and the breach of the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. When we cannot fully deal with people who corrupt and pollute all that is holy, we can entrust them to the memory of Heaven. Then he ends the Book with a call for divine remembrance of himself and his godly acts for which he seeks to be blessed by God; Remember me with favour, O my God.” Nehemiah 13:31 (NIV). What Heaven remembers, good or bad, Heaven recompenses.



What do you want to be remembered for, godliness or godlessness? Are there things and people you want to commit to the remembrance of Heaven? Do, for Heaven does not forget what we entrust to Heaven’s care.



Dear Lord, I thank you that you are the best reference point, and the last judge in all affairs. I pray that you help me to build such a memorial of myself before you, that before I call, I will be remembered for good. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.





DAILY word study: REMEMBER

The Hebrew word for "remember" in Nehemiah 13:29 is "זָכַר" (zakar). This word carries a rich semantic range in the Old Testament, signifying more than mere cognitive recall. In its biblical usage, it often involves action, either on the part of God or humans. It implies a deep, deliberate, and purposeful recollection, often tied to covenantal promises, mercy, or judgment.

Other Biblical examples:

  1. Divine Remembrance: In Genesis 8:1, "But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark." Here, God's remembering is associated with delivering Noah from the flood.

  2. Human Remembrance: Psalm 103:2 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." This verse suggests an active remembrance on the part of the worshiper, recalling and acknowledging God's goodness.

  3. Covenantal Remembrance: God often remembers His covenant. In Exodus 2:24, "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob." God's action follows His remembrance of the covenant.

In Nehemiah 13:29, when it says, "Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priestly office," it reflects a plea for God's active intervention based on His covenant and the sanctity of the priestly office. It's not a simple mental recall but a call for divine action prompted by the violation of sacred responsibilities.


How does understanding the depth of "remembering" as an action on God's part impact your prayers and reliance on His faithfulness in the face of challenges?


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