Matthew 5:23-24 -“If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift, go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. THERE IS a marked difference between memory and recollection. Memory resembles a great box or chest into which a man puts all of his letters, thoughts, and manuscripts. As we live, each and every day’s happenings go into the memory box. Every word spoken, every action done to us or for us, is all in that great box.
Recollection is the ability to remember it when needed. We know that it is somewhere in our possession, we remember to have seen and turned it over, but search as we may we cannot find or recall it.
In our text, a man is instructed to remember. The memory of his brother is in the box and it is his duty to take care of the problem before his offering will be accepted of God. I am tempted to go on a bunny trail about the offering, but I will stop with only this thought: “If you want God’s blessing, you need to offer to Him what is acceptable by Him.”
Remember is used 148 times in 144 verses in the Bible. It must be important. In the Old Testament, it is primarily God comforting Israel about the fact that He will remember the covenant the He made with Abraham. Each time it involved Israel’s response to their sin as a nation. I remember years ago I did a message on IF-Then. IF you repent and come back to Me, THEN I will remember the Covenant I made with Abraham and I will again Bless you.
Now how a memory seems to work, is the thing we think about the most is the most readily available to our recollection. David said in Psalms 77:1112 “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”
David did not want to forget God. In the history of Israel, God had worked miracles over and over again. I could list them all, but there is hardly enough space for even one, yet Let’s look at when God had Moses lead Israel out of Egypt. The plagues were miracles. The fact that the plagues only effected the Egyptian side of the city was a miracle. The parting of the Red Sea was a miracle. When they were thirsty Moses brought water from a rock, at God’s commanded. In the wilderness it rained manna every night and quail settled around the camp in the evenings. This is all miracles and things David wanted to remember.
Now no king’s life was easy. People are different from one another. Each desires something other than what is being done at present. Look around today and see all the protests in the world. David wanted to always remember what God HAD done so he could remember what God WOULD do in the future. David relied on God and His grace to rule.
Here is the note to remember. Good kings remembered God, worshipped Him and their nation was blessed. Bad kings forgot God, worshipped idols and their country was not blessed and eventually God brought another people to conquer them. It is interesting to note that once in captivity their memory of how good God was and how good they had it when serving Him came back to them.
Psalms 105:5 “Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” Ecclestiastics 12:1 “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” Yes, remember God while you are young. Work for Him and Worship Him in your younger days when you are the most useful. Exerrcise your memory on important things, like the grace of God that bringeth salvation and forget the unprofittable things like past events that you cannot change. Be God’s man or woman today instead of waiting until you are old and infirmed. Memorize scripture. Memorize how good God has been to humanity but also rememebr what God does to those that hate Him.
Romans 11:22 “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”