“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So shall you remember and do my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.’” Numbers 15:37-41
In so many details, God is working to help us remain faithful. He wants to keep us from falling away. He knows us better than anyone, better than we know ourselves. The ways we think we’ll never fail, He knows better. God knows how deceitful and fickle our hearts are. He knows how distracted we get and how tempting we find the pleasures of this world. So within His commandments He is planning ahead, incorporating our weaknesses and inclination to sin and run after other things.
We see this here. God is commanding the Israelites to put blue tassels on the corners of their clothes. It seems simple and a bit silly from the outside. An unnecessary addition, something they could overlook and not worry about. Yet God declared that this was something they must do. It wasn’t a suggestion. When He tells them to do something, He doesn’t leave it open as an option. He is to be obeyed. So throughout their generations, the people of God were to put these tassels on their garments.
Then He explains why. He isn’t needlessly throwing around His authority. This isn’t meant as a legalistic, prideful religious exercise. This is for them to keep His commandments. He knows we need to keep His Word before our eyes or we will fix our eyes on something else. We will forget. We will cast aside thoughts of His future grace and run after other desires.
Focusing on His commands, putting intentional reminders before us, also keep us from looking only at the goodness and mercy of God and using them as an excuse to ignore His holiness and His commands to obey. Our love for God is shown in our obedience to Him. It is a display of our trust, our belief in who He is, that His commandments are important and that He knows what He’s talking about. That He will provide and will be faithful when we choose to follow Him even if another path appears better. So God wants to help us remain faithful, to continue and grow in our love for Him. He knows that only this satisfies. Only in this will we know the joys of His future grace and see the beautiful perfection of His Word.
So let us intentionally put reminders before our eyes—reminders of His commandments, of His faithfulness shown to us, of His future grace promised to us. These physical reminders, however small they may seem, will help us fix our eyes on Christ so that our lives are characterized by obedience, praise, and faith. We will know joy and peace, because we will be focused on who our God is and what His Word says.