After freeing his people from slavery, God renewed his covenant with them by making promises and showing them how to live thankful lives. Since God had remembered the people in their need, he called them to especially remember people around them who were poor and needy.
Throughout the Old Testament we find the call to remember, or to come to the aid of widows, orphans, people who were hungry, people who were homeless, and people who were in chains or in prison. The Israelites often failed to do that, however. So God often sent covenant messengers to remind them. Whether it was Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, or Amos, the message was the same: Remember the forgotten ones!
Finally God sent his people into exile for their failure. But God did not forget them there. He remembered them again by preserving a remnant and bringing them back to the promised land. And out of that remnant came the One who did remember.
Jesus remembered the needy by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, delivering those who were in chains, and giving sight to the blind. Even on the cross, with his final breaths he came to the aid of a death-row criminal who asked, "Lord, remember me!" Jesus responded, "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for remembering the poor and needy and for dying so that we could be forgiven of our sin. Help us to come to the aid of people in distress. Amen.
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