The LORD said to Moses, "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. 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. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. ~~ Numbers 15:37-40, NIV
This past weekend, my son played in baseball tournaments. We paid for him to play in the tournament. We paid the umpires, and we paid park entrance fees to see the tournament.
The park personnel were kind enough to allow re-entry the same day if you left for a while as long as you allowed them to stamp your forearm. The stamp was necessary as so many people came and went, the gate attendant could not remember every face.
Sometimes we can’t remember everything either. And it seems to be less I remember the older I turn. Like the stamp reminded the attendant that I already paid the entry fee, we need reminders.
To help me remember, I write my to-do lists on a calendar. Or I’ll set alarms in my cell phone. But I have to remember to write it down or set the alarm, otherwise I probably forget.
The Lord realized that we have a short memory span. He told Moses a long time ago to have all the Israelites throughout all generations to place a blue cord on each corner tassel of their garment.
The garment referred to is called the prayer shawl, or tallit. The cloth has four corners with the tassels hanging off each corner. The Hebrew people were instructed to tie a blue cord on each tassel to remember the commands of the Lord.
Since stone carved copies of the commandments were not available for every household, the people memorized the commands of the Lord using the memory triggers such as the cords on the prayer shawl.
Today the Bible is readily available in most American homes. And it is definitely available online and through the iPhones. Therefore it is easily accessible. Though we have God’s word available to us, we’re still commanded to hide His word in our hearts so we won’t sin against Him. (Psalm 119:11)
I confess, I do not memorize enough scripture. I used to carry around 3X5 cards with scriptures on them to help me. But I gave those cards away.
I know this, that if I do not consistently read the Word of God and memorize scripture, I sin much more easily. I don’t always remember God’s word and commands to me. I need the stamp or the blue tassel or something else to help me remember.
What do you to help you remember?