Give thanks...to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23
God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember! He wants us to hold Him to His own Word. Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8). The psalmist prayed the same way: "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope" (Ps. 119:49). Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2). With His own Word we can pray so as to give God "no rest" until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.) We likewise pray with Habakkuk: "In wrath remember mercy" (Hab. 3:2).
The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges. The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness. The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit" (Judg. 21:25). But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly: (1) They "did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies," and (2) they "failed to show kindness" (Judg. 8:34-35).
God's promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:
God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22
God ... remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24
For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42
In other words, God keeps His promise to remember. He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful. God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful. He puts it succinctly: give thanks.
Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).