When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the LORD instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. Numbers 15:39 (NLT)

After over 400 years in captivity and 40 years of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, they were about to enter ‘The Promised Land’! The Lord God was giving His people final instructions before their long journey came to an end.

Of all the many lessons’ the Israelites had learned, the one God hoped they would remember the most is that God’s blessings are hindered by sin. After all, it was sin that forced God’s chosen people to take 40 years to complete what should have been an 11 day walk! It was doubt that caused them to turn back when those sent to ‘spy out the land’ gave them a bad report. It was a lack of trust that sent a bunch of snakes swarming into camp.

If they would walk by faith in God the people of Israel would experience peace and prosperity. They were God’s people. They were set aside by Him to be His chosen ones. He didn’t choose them because of their size, or their strength or their ability to obey. He chose them because He loved them.

In Numbers 15:37-41 the Lord gives His people instructions concerning the clothes they would wear. The garments of the Israelites were to have a fringe sewn on with tassels hanging from the fringe. These would serve two purposes. On the one hand it would be a public symbol that these people were God’s people. Secondly, the tassels would hopefully serve as a reminder to the Israelites that they were to follow God’s laws.

I like the phrasing of the New Living Translation: “instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves as you are prone to do.”  The word prone means ‘to have a tendency or inclination to do’. The Father knew his children. He knew they would be distracted. He knew that the desires of the world would constantly pull them away. Even though He knew they would fail, and fail miserably, He remained faithful to His promises.

Our heavenly Father is the same today. He knows we will fail. He knows how hard it is four us to live without discouragement, hate, anger, worry, frustration, doubt, addictive tendencies, and the list goes on. But still He calls to us and begs us to come to Him for healing.

What a great and awesome God of love and mercy we serve.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me even though I’m so easily distracted by the world. Keep me in your arms. Empower me to follow your ways. Protect me from temptation and distraction. Help me to live as though there were tassels on my garments that would remind me to follow you and testify to others of your great love. Amen.

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