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God’s Bad Memory

God’s Bad Memory Bible Study PDF

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Jeremiah 31:34b (NIV)


“Heresy! Get the pitch forks, grab a rope! We’ll hang this heathen!”

How dare someone say that God is in any way flawed?  I didn’t say that at all. What I am saying is that sometimes God forgets. And why am I comfortable in saying that?  Because the Bible says so!

  • For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.  –  Jeremiah 31:34b (NIV)
  • I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins. – Isaiah 43:25 (NASB)
  • For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. – Hebrews 8:12
  • And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. – Hebrews 10:17
  • For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:11-12 (NIV)

Can God Make a rock So Big He Can’t Lift it?

  • If God is perfect in every way, how can He possibly forget?
  • Without getting into a useless discussion of whether God can make a rock so big that even He couldn’t lift it, let’s just take God at His Word.
  • It has been described as God choosing to not remember our sins.
  • I personally believe our sins are literally erased from existence in the spiritual realm. While our human bodies (sin nature) are not perfect and shall return to the earth, our spirit will return to God. And I think it is the spirit (soul) that God cares about. (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 16:26)

Humans Have Excellent Memory

  • Our own guilt
  • Wrongdoings of others

Poor Role Models

  • God created heaven and earth.  He brings up kings and rulers and takes down nations.  He causes the sea to part for Moses.  With all this power, why does He use broken people to hold up as examples?  Consider:
    • He chose a person who hated Christians- and even helped in the stoning and imprisonment of Christians- to write 13 (about 1/3) of the New Testament Books?
    • He chooses someone who can’t speak plain and is a murderer to lead people out of Egypt.
    • He uses a lustful man to be a Judge of Israel.
    • A man who had a woman’s husband killed so that he could have her for himself was used to write many Psalms and have very high regard in all of Scripture.
    • He allowed a man who disobeyed numerous commands from God (and in fact started worshiping other gods) to be filled with wisdom, write parts of the Old Testament, and build the First Temple!
    • Above all that, why would the New Testament list these kinds of people as examples???? And even include a prostitute?  (Hebrews 11-12)
    • Could it be that God uses broken people to show us His power and strength, and that He can actually do all things?
    • We see that these people are not poor role models at all. In fact, they are just what we need.  God can pull us out of the deepest muck, clean us off, then let us have eternal life, and He forgets what we used to be, what we used to do. More than that, He continues to forget seventy times seven (which means always). That kind of Grace is truly amazing.


  • What does ‘forget’ mean?
  • If we are to forgive others? Does that also mean we should forget what they did? (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
  • With whom does God have a perfect memory, and hasn’t forgotten anything?
  • Is it a sin not to forgive others?
  • Is it a sin not to forgive ourselves?


Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west?
From one scarred Hand to the other.
Casting Crowns