Remember Your God // Numbers 15:32-41
32. While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.
33. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly,
34. and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.
35. Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.”
36. So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.
37. The LORD said to Moses,
38. “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.
39. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.
40. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.
41. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’
God’s Law Enforced (15:32–36)
Immediately after God specifies the punishment due to anyone who defiantly sins against Him, we see this account of a man who willfully breaks the Sabbath. The people show reluctance in strictly applying God’s laws to this man and delay punishment by keeping him in custody. But God makes it clear that His words are not to be taken lightly and commands Moses to enforce the law that punishes high-handed rebellion. Sometimes we, too, make the mistake of not taking God’s commands seriously and focus only on His grace. God’s grace, however, does not mean He has a relaxed attitude toward law-breakers. He fulfilled the Law by pouring out the judgment due to sinners upon His Son, Jesus Christ, who received the penalty of death on our behalf.
A Sign for Future Generations (15:37–41)
The LORD knows that the Israelites are a forgetful people, so He graciously gives them a physical sign that they can wear every day to remind themselves of their identity as a chosen people, set apart for Him. When they look at these tassels, they will remember to obey the commands of the LORD and not chase after the desires of the flesh. Such reminders do not have the power to ensure our obedience or salvation, but it is still worth having them in our lives to help us remain faithful. Perhaps you wear a cross necklace or another piece of jewelry to represent your identity as a Christian. Whatever your sign may be, whenever you look at it, remind yourself that you belong to the Lord.
– Have you ever treated God’s commands lightly? What does the cross reveal to us about God’s commitment to His Law?
– Do you have a physical sign that reminds you of your commitment to Jesus? How does it help you stay faithful to Him?
A LETTER TO GOD:
Lord, help me to stay committed to obeying Your Word, not to earn my salvation, but in gratitude for Jesus’ work on the cross. Remind me daily that I belong to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.