In Exodus chapter three, Moses asks the Lord how he should respond if the children of Israel ask him what is His name. God said thus shall you say, “I Am has sent me unto you. This is my name for ever and my memorial unto all generations”. Here memorial is used for zeker which for consistency and application should have been translated remembrance. Keep in mind that the Lord is preparing to bring the congregation out of bondage with a great deliverance. On this historical occasion, the people are given a name for them to call out in all generations for deliverance from their enemies.
This inconsistency translating zeker is repeated in Hosea chapter twelve. After declaring his controversy with Judah, the Lord again declares Himself as Deliverer of Israel in verse five: even the Lord God of hosts, the Lord is His memorial (zeker). Again zeker is translated memorial, rather than remembrance, when the point is to call on the name of the Lord to be remembered. This is the language of covenant. When Moses first asked for a name, the Lord declared Hayah hayah, I Am That I Am. Hayah is the Hebrew root from which is derived Yahweh. In the same way that the name of remembrance is shortened to I Am, Yahweh is shortened to Yah:
Sing unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him that rides upon the heavens by His name Jah (Yah), and rejoice before Him. Psalm 68:4.
Of course, Jah is incorporated into many Hebrew names such as Elijah in English translations. In Hebrew though the name is Yahu, Eli yahu for Elijah, Jirme yahu for Jeremiah, etc. Thus the name of remembrance for the people of God to cry out for deliverance is Yahu!
The Lord declares unto Moses in Exodus chapter six; I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the name of God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name Yahweh was I not known to them. Ex. 6:2&3.
This becomes all powerful when we acknowledge that when God remembers from heaven, actions result on earth. In Genesis God remembered Noah (8:1), Abraham (19:29), and Rachel (30:22). Prayers were answered and promises were kept. When we acknowledge our forgetfulness, especially in times of rest and plenty, we can understand what God has provided for us. For He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. Psalms 111:4. I would challenge the reader to review every verse using remembered, especially in the Psalms to lay hold of the gravity of this commandment of the Lord. Remember! To remember is to abide in the Word of Covenant.
Now that the difference between memorial and remembrance has been set before our understanding, we can consider one of the Lord’s most important and final commandments. In Luke 22:19, he took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave unto them saying this is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. The practice of breaking bread in fellowship became the foundation of Christian fellowship in the book of Acts. When emissaries from Jerusalem were sent to check on the evangelizing work of Paul and Barnabas, what were they expecting to find? Paul writes in 1 Co 11:23 for I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you. He goes on to describe the last supper, including the command to do this in remembrance of me. Obviously, Paul was not a participant at the last supper and had not been welcomed into the fellowship of the church in Jerusalem due to his fearful reputation. Yet when the emissaries visited, they observed them breaking bread in fellowship.
The breaking of bread is not given to practice as a memorial before God, but a remembrance in the Lord’s sight. Jesus said for when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. This gathering together is initiated by the proper breaking of bread. Continuing in 1 Co 11, Paul warns that not breaking bread properly is to bring damnation onto yourselves. To allow breaking bread to become empty ritual, or to completely neglect the act as obsolete is to deny the very presence of the Lord into your fellowship and to have no portion, nor right, nor memorial. (Neh 2:20). Paul concludes: for this cause many have become infirm and many have died.
By Luke 24 we know that the presence of the Lord in fellowship is essential to a right understanding of His word. Jesus meets with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and has a conversation which is given to us as a memorial. After the breaking of bread they knew him for their eyes were opened, and He then vanished from their sight. And the said to one another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (v. 32). Returning to Jerusalem they gave their testimony of how He was known of them in breaking of bread. (v.35).
This is the Lord’s remembrance. This is to know Him. Now is the time for believers to enter into the ministry of the burning heart. To break the bread of sincerity and truth. To call on the name of the Lord in remembrance of His mercy. Peter said; I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance. 2 Peter 3:1.
For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. John 6:33.