If you went into an office in Israel today, the word you would hear for “secretary” is mazkir (מזכיר) or mazkira for a female. It comes from the Hebrew word to remind, from the root זכר, remember.
Does God need reminders?
The idea of reminding, remembering and remembrance is a key theme in scripture, and we have the honor of being God’s secretaries according to Isaiah 62:6; to remind him of his prophetic calendar, and to keep his pre-arranged appointments.
“Then God remembered Noah”, “God remembered Abraham”, “then God remembered Sarah”, “the Lord remembered Hannah”… Did they slip out of God’s memory and then pop back in again, jolted by something or other? Certainly not.
In the Bible, these precious words about God remembering proceed God’s promised action on their behalf – working salvation, producing offspring, and so on. the very opposite of God forgetting his promise!
Presenting before God as a “reminder”
Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word for ‘male’ is also from the root word ‘remember’ (זכר). It is connected with the idea of lineage and heritage, continuing a name, memory and posterity throughout the generations. The Law required every Israelite male (זכר) to present himself before God, three times a year. Of course, God doesn’t need help remembering who we are – his mind is not subject to “senior moments” as ours are!
“Three times a year all your males (זְכוּרְךָ) shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” (Deuteronomy 16:16)
Three times a year, God was reminded of his people as they came and presented themselves to the place that he chose, which was of course, Jerusalem. Each one was counted, and each one had to bring the same half shekel, regardless if they were rich or poor, as a way of symbolising the equal value each one has before God, and reminding him to cover their sin:
“The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord’s offering to make atonement for your lives. You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance (לְזִכָּרוֹן) before the Lord, so as to make atonement for your lives.” (Exodus 30:15-16)
In this way, God was reminded of his covenant with his people, and forgave their sin.
What is in God’s calendar for Israel?
In the Bible, God makes sixteen promises regarding Israel as a whole – their destiny and story as a nation – and all of them have come to pass already except for the last three. God foretold Israel’s detour to Egypt and the Exodus with great riches, their taking of the land of Canaan, their idolatry and exile, the destruction of the two temples, and their scattering among the nations. He has also predicted the regathering and reestablishment of Israel, which we saw come to pass in 1948. But there is more to come.
The Bible also tells us that it is within God’s plan for all the nations of the earth to turn against Israel (Ezekiel 38 and 39) and for there to be a revelation of Yeshua as the crucified Messiah to the Jewish people en masse (Zechariah 12:10-14, Romans 11:25-36). We are also told that Yeshua will return only when the people of Israel call out from Jerusalem, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:37-39). Then the Messiah will come and reign in the Holy City and establish his reign on earth.
It is up to us as intercessors to remind God of these promises, like secretaries.
The Message puts Isaiah 62:6-7 like this:
“I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to remember.
They are to give him no peace until he does what he said, until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.”
We are to be “God’s secretaries”
God has not forgotten his promises, and every word will come to pass, but he wants us to join in this prophetic process by acting as his secretaries and reminding him of what he has said. It is upon us to get to know what God has promised by studying the scriptures, and then to pray according to his Word. As we pray and bring before God his prophecies about the people of Israel, we also remind ourselves what he has said, and what we can expect will come to pass. It’s a great privilege and joy to join God as he remembers Israel, and acts upon his word to fulfill it.
You could spend some time reading through the passages mentioned above (Ezekiel 38 and 39, Zechariah 12:10-14, Romans 11:25-36, and Matthew 23:37-39) in order to pray for God’s final promises to Israel to be in the front of his mind. As it says in Isaiah 62, let us be his secretaries, and give him no peace until he does all that he has promised!