One of the things my husband will tell you about me is that I’m an incurable romantic. And, in my experience with the male gender, for the life of me, I can’t understand why the word man is in the middle of the word romantic. It just doesn’t seem like a task they’re up to. Every once in a while, there are flashes of brilliance, but I don’t think a man’s brain can begin to go to the romantic depths that a woman’s brain is capable of.
We women remember all the little things, you know? When my husband and I first began dating, I could list all of the "special" calendar dates in our relationship: our first date, our first kiss, our "officially dating" date, and even the date when we first "noticed" each other. (It was a very interesting moment! Not one to be forgotten!) A few years after our relationship began, I gave my husband a clock engraved with a small saying and the date of that first look. He had no idea what it was referring to.
So, perhaps the majority of the male population is romantically-challenged. But in Leviticus 23, we find that God is not. He wants to have a romantic relationship with us! I admit this sounds a little weird, but the evidence is right there. In this chapter, God is asking the Israelites to remember all their "special dates," and He hasn’t changed much since then.
In fact, back in Exodus 20, when God asked the Israelites to remember His Sabbath day, the word translated "remember" is the Hebrew word zakar. This word doesn’t just mean to mentally think of something — "Oh, I just remembered I had a dentist’s appointment today." It includes action, specifically to act in a way that honors a relationship. It’s just like when I want my husband to remember our anniversary. That doesn’t mean I want him to simply remember what date it falls on, but to remember it by doing special things that honor our relationship.
The special feasts God asked the Israelites to remember and observe in Leviticus 23 were reminders that He is the only true Source of rest, freedom, wealth, sustenance, healing, and shelter. He wanted them (and us) to remember and celebrate these things about Him — not for His sake, but because we are blessed by the remembering.
Remembering is the first step in restoring (or maintaining) a relationship. Why? Because the opposite of remembering is not forgetting. The opposite of remembering is dismembering. When you re-member something, you bring it back together, you heal it, you restore it. Our relationship with God has been broken, dis-membered, but God is out to re-member it! That’s why He’s such a romantic!