Devotional: Remember no more

Published 6:48 pm Saturday, April 13, 2024

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For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. — Isaiah 65:17 NRS

These words from the prophet Isaiah were written to the Israelites living in diaspora. They had been taken away from their ancestral home in Israel and had lived in Babylon for at least two generations. This “captivity” was a result of a people who had forgotten to worship their God. They had become like their neighbors and had listened more to the government than they listened to God.

It was a very difficult thing. Not only had they lost their homes and land, they were separated from their God. The Temple in Jerusalem was “God’s house” and they felt pulled away and separated from God. They could not go to God’s house to offer the ritual sacrifices and worship God. For at least two decades, they had toiled in a new place and tried as best they could to follow God’s commands on worship and conduct. However, God remained silent.

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Then the prophet Isaiah hears new words of hope. God will remember the sins of the Israelites no more. God is doing a great thing. The world will be once again changed. In verses 65:17- 25 God announces a reversal. God will remember the sins of the Israelites no more. The Israelites will once again commune God and be a people of God. God will remember their sins no more. What follows is a depiction of a world that is much like the Garden of Eden before the fall: before sin infected the world. 

How is this accomplished? God will “remember” their sins no more. Has God gotten amnesia? Is God ready to close God’s eyes to sin? The reading might be better understood by if we the “not remember” but as “not bring up”. God knows sin is still in humanity, and that it will be here until the Rapture. However, God is telling the people of God that the close, intimate relationship that was before sin came in the world will be again.

It is good to remember in this time after Easter, that God purposely chooses to forget our sins so that we can dwell with God. Jesus, God’s son came, did not meet violence with violence and freed us to be intimate with God again. Enjoy it!

Keith Leach is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at