Numbers 15 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The L_rd said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels for the corners of their garments, and put a blue cord on each tassel at each corner. These will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the L_rd’s commands and obey them and not become unfaithful by following your own heart and your own eyes. This way you will remember and obey all my commands and be holy to your G_d.” Numbers 15:37-40
Yeshua said to some of the religious leaders of His day, “You make your tassels long and phylacteries large, and pray loudly on the street corner, because you love to be seen and greeted loudly in the marketplace.” Basically, G_d-given displays of spiritual identity had become objects of egocentric attention for some worshipers.
Prayer, phylacteries and tassels are all outward religious displays, supposedly reflecting an inward devotion to the L_rd. Phylacteries are tiny boxes, affixed by leather straps to the head and hands. Inside these boxes are scriptures, specifically, Exodus 13:1-10; 11-16, and Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21.
When a phylactery is enlarged, a prayer is shouted on a street corner, or a tassel elongated, attention is thus drawn away from personal worship, and towards the person worshipping. The observer is led to believe the size of the vestment is proportional to the piety of the worshipper. Grandiose displays may be impressive to people, but G_d is more concerned with sincerity than sensationalism. Quality of worship wins-out over quantity.
Personally, I like the idea of reminders. I think most people do, or else the “Post It” note company would be out of business! G_d is concerned with our remembrance. This extends beyond an annual holiday or weekly Sabbath rest. He wants us to continually remember Him…as He continually remembers us, through His Son Who is ever before Him as our testimony and advocate.
The Hebrew word for tassel is: “Tzitzit”. In Hebrew each letter has a numerical value. The letters of the word tzitzit equal 600. Each tzitzit has 8 cords and five knots. This gives a total of 613, the number of all the commandments in the Torah.
As we focus our Worship on G_d, He does not simply want us to remember the 10 commandments, but of all 613.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, May 22, 2014