Draw Close to God
“Remember Me, O My God, for Good”
“I THOUGHT that Jehovah, who knows me so well, could never love me or approve of me.” So wrote a faithful Christian woman who has struggled with a lack of self-worth. Have you ever been plagued with similar feelings, thinking that you do not merit God’s attention, let alone have his approval? If so, the words recorded at Nehemiah 13:31 may be of encouragement to you.
Nehemiah, governor of the Jews in the fifth century B.C.E., did his best to please God. He spearheaded the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls despite enemy opposition. He enforced God’s Law, cared for the oppressed, and sought to build up the faith of his fellow Israelites. Did God notice the good that this faithful man had done? Did Nehemiah have Jehovah’s approval? We can discern the answers in the closing words of the book that bears his name.
Nehemiah prays: “Do remember me, O my God, for good.”a Is Nehemiah afraid that his good deeds have gone unnoticed by God or that God will forget about him? No. Nehemiah is no doubt aware of what earlier Bible writers have said about Jehovah’s keen interest in his faithful worshippers and their good deeds. (Exodus 32:32, 33; Psalm 56:8) What, then, is he asking God to do? One reference work notes that the Hebrew term translated “remember” implies “the affection of the mind and the action which accompanies recollection.” With full faith in the power of prayer, Nehemiah is asking God to remember him with affection and to bless him.—Nehemiah 2:4.
Will Jehovah answer Nehemiah’s prayer for remembrance? In one respect, he already has. The very fact that Jehovah saw fit to have a permanent record made of Nehemiah’s prayer, making it part of the inspired Scriptures, assures us that he remembers Nehemiah with affection. But the “Hearer of prayer” will do more to answer Nehemiah’s heartfelt request.—Psalm 65:2.
God will yet reward Nehemiah for all the good that he did for pure worship. (Hebrews 11:6) In the coming righteous new world that Jehovah has promised, he will bless Nehemiah by resurrecting him from the dead.b (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:3, 4) There, with the prospect of everlasting life on a paradise earth, Nehemiah will see that Jehovah has, indeed, remembered him for good.
Nehemiah’s prayer attests to the truthfulness of King David’s words: “You yourself will bless anyone righteous, O Jehovah; as with a large shield, with approval you will surround them.” (Psalm 5:12) Yes, God notices and values our sincere efforts to please him. As long as you do your best to serve him, you can be confident that he will remember you with affection and will richly bless you.
Suggested Bible reading for February: