Tassel Beats Rock

We’ve been thinking a lot about the Law lately. On Sunday mornings our study of Romans has focused on the role the Law played in bringing us to grace. On Wednesday nights James has pointed out the connection between faith and works, and how breaking one point of law makes us guilty of all. On Sunday nights we’ve explored the difference between ceremonial law, civil law, and moral law. And in our daily reading we’ve been reading, or skimming, through laws of all kinds that were given to Israel. Last week I discovered a connection between a couple of laws I had never noticed before.

In the 15th chapter of Numbers we read about a man who was caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. The people weren’t sure what to do with him, so they kept him in custody until Moses could get word from God on what his penalty should be. They were no doubt shocked by what God told them to do. The people were ordered to stone him to death.

When I read that I assumed God had discerned an unrepentant spirit of rebellion in the man, and thus the harsh judgment. But in the very next paragraph He tells Moses to tell an obviously forgetful people to put tassels of blue on the corners of their garments to remind them of the commandments, and the need to be holy.

Tying tassels on a shirt might seem like a silly law, if that’s what it was. And maybe the people simply regarded it as good advice, or a helpful suggestion. But however it may have been viewed, God’s intent was clear. He didn’t want His people doing things that would require Him to take drastic action. He therefore ordained a helpful reminder to keep them from forgetting they had been set apart as holy.

We no longer wear tassels as a reminder, but Christ did ordain something for us to do on a regular basis. I don’t know if we ought to think of “This do in remembrance of Me” as a command or not, but if we call Him Lord, it is something we must do.

I’ll see you Sunday, around His table.

God Bless, Rick

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