The IMPORTANCE of setting up ‘REMINDERS’ to OBEY GOD
February 13 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 13-15
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God." (Num. 15:37-40)
In this day and age when people are trying to multi-task and juggle different activities around their daily schedule, it is good to set up reminders for ourselves. The main reason for this is because in the busyness of doing different things, we tend to forget some really important dates or events or things that we have to accomplish within set deadlines. We may set up reminders through post-it notes or, having reminders set up in our online calendars, which automatically flash out these reminders at the correct set times. In fact, each of us needs to have reminders to keep us thinking rightly about God and our relationship with Him!
Speaking of reminders, during the time of Moses, the Israelites were commanded to make tassels on the corners of their garments and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. It is worthwhile to note that blue speaks about ‘heaven’, and this reminder was intended to speak to them about being holy for the sake of Jehovah and obeying all of His commandments. They were to remember how God had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt! According to the Jewish tradition, there were 8 threads and 5 knots in each tassel, suggesting the number 13. The numerical value of the Hebrew word for tassel is 600. In this way they were reminded of the 613 laws of the Hebrew legal code, and the need for obeying them all.
Thus, tassels were worn around the hem of the clothes to remind the Israelites to do God’s will. Apparently, they had an upper garment folded into a quadrangular shape, and the tassels were to be put on each of these corners. The wearing of tassels on the corners of garments was thus a beautiful sign of great significance. This is what the Bible scholar Kenneth Jones had to say about this matter: “As the Christians use the symbols of the cross, the fish, or the yoke, so the Hebrews were given the tassel on their clothing, to remind them of their heritage, and of the commandments of God. Orthodox Jews today still wear the tallith (Jewish prayer shawl) at certain times, though they discontinued wearing fringed garments all the time by the thirteenth century A.D.”
God didn’t want His people to forget His commandments, and so this visual reminder of the duty to obey the Law was given because of the serious consequences of failure to obey. Why was that necessary? Could the Israelites really forget something as important as the instructions received at Mount Sinai? Yes, they not only could but did on numerous occasions, which are recorded in various places within the books of Moses itself (see Lev. 10:1–3, 16–18; 24:10–11; Num. 11:1–3; 15:32–36).
It is important for us to set up reminders for ourselves so that we will remember God’s Word and remember to keep ourselves holy for God. The Word in Life Study Bible has suggested a few ways how we can set up reminders in this regard:
- Upon arriving at work each day, we can read a proverb from the book of Proverbs. Each one is short, to the point, and practical.
- We can carry cards in our pockets or purse that have Scripture verses printed on them, and scan one or two during break-time.
- We can use a calendar that has a Bible verse printed on each day’s leaf.
- We can ask our spouse or a close friend to pray a short prayer with us sometime during each work day.
- We can keep a daily ‘to do’ list that includes at least one specific action step by which we can visibly identify with the work and values of Christ.
- We can keep a copy of the Bible near us always, and read it regularly whenever we get a chance.
- Lastly, we can listen to audio Bible in our car or other listening devices that we carry.