The Tassel

The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a violet thread. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so that you will do them and not follow your own heart and your own eyes, which led you to prostitute yourselves, so that you will remember and do all my commandments and be holy to your God.”
Numbers 15.37-40

There are two interesting words in the text above that will be the focus of this week’s article. These words point out what is necessary for every Christian. The first word is “fringe.” Some versions have the word “tassel.” We are familiar with a tassel, as it is prevalent in graduation ceremonies in our culture. The children of Israel were given a command to wear tassels on the borders of their garments throughout their generations, the purpose being a reminder of something which was most important: Be obedient to Jehovah’s commands! While we are familiar with a similar act of tying a string around one of our finger’s such is not done as reminder to obey God. While we are not commanded to wear tassels, we are given other commands from God which serve as reminders to be obedient.

For example, the command to assemble is our “tassel” reminder. We assemble to be reminded of the commands of the gospel to keep them; to be holy. We also assemble to be reminded not to follow after the lusts and desires of our own hearts. Our “coming together” can be for the better, or for the worse (1 Corinthians 11.20), depending upon how well we remember.

There is no greater even to remember than the sacrifice of Jesus. The purpose for which he shed his blood was the remission of our sins. Therefore, we have been given a command to proclaim his death. We find from all the records of the observance of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26.26-28; Mark 14.22-24; Luke 22.17-20; 1 Corinthians 11.23-28) that disciples are to be together when partaking. Yes, we are to come together! It should be no surprise to find a “tassel reminder” in connection with this memorial. In Hebrews 10.24-25, we read: “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

It is ironic that this most significant event is the very one that is least remembered by those who have been taught human traditions and human theology. Satan’s deception of how to observe this memorial has been the springboard for other deceptions. Therefore, a sharing few words regarding the manner in which this remembering to be donees in order. Must we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns?” “Of course!” you might reply. How then shall we proclaim in? Do we have any inspired language from the Holy Spirit as to how we are to remember, or may we decide this according to our own wisdom? We find that practices vary from weekly to monthly to yearly. Some partake on Thursday nights, some on Saturdays, and others on Sundays. Some now do it from home without any regard to the command to “come together” in Hebrews 10.25.

The variance in practice is indicative that either no divine guidance exists or the divine guidance is simply not followed. Which is it? The answer lies in a brief study of the second term. It is the word “follow” or “seek” (KJV). The Israelites were told to “not follow” something (reread v. 39 above). The word “follow” means to follow much as the hind leg of an animal follows the front leg. It goes wherever the front leg steps. There is no decision made regarding whether the path is a path of danger; it just follows without thinking. What God was then meaning was to not follow your heart’s desire without any consideration of whether your heart is following the Lord’s commandments. Remember them! We need to remember what God spoke to Noah when he gave the reminder of the rainbow: “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8.21).

Attaching a tassel to their garments was such an insignificant act, yet it had profound purpose. How important was it? Assembling is a very insignificant thing for many, yet it likewise has an equally profound purpose. How important is it to you? Remember: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3.5).