Additional information related to the sermon entitled:

Dig Deeper

The Exclusion-Inclusion Conclusion

 

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Contributed by Larry Stephan

Why The Tassels?

New Life For The Poor:

Some of you have asked where you can buy a prayer shawl.  If you are interested, you can click on the picture on the right.

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In the book of Ruth, we saw how an idol-worshiping widow destined for poverty (Ruth) gets a new life when she meets the master of the harvest and places herself under his authority through marriage. More importantly, she puts herself under the corner of his cloak (Tallis), the tassels, which symbolized being under the authority of the word of the God of Boaz (Ruth 3:9).  This was the start of a new live for Ruth.


You may be thinking that you are glad that you’re not an idol-worshiping Moabite.  However, the Bible says that we are all poor like Ruth, spiritually poor.  The good news is that we too can have new life when we come in contact with God’s word and “The Word [that] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) This relationship exposes us to “the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:7b-8).

 

Do they have magical powers?  Is it a superstition?  No, the tassels, or tzitzit in Hebrew, are important because of what they symbolize.  When God himself instituted the practice, He said, “You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD” (Numbers 15:39).  So their purpose is to call to mind God’s word!  God’s word is our guide for life, it is the source of truth and authority.  It is our standard for checking and correcting our way (2 Tim. 3:16).


When the Jewish men, saw the tassels on the corners of their robe, it would cause them to reflect on their situation of being “under the authority of God’s word.”


This may seem like an odd practice to us, but consider this – have you ever gone through a busy day when the thought of God’s word never entered your mind?  We live in a busy world.  We tie strings around our fingers to help us to remember to do things.  Well, maybe not, but you do write yourself reminders on yellow stickies and set alarms on your cell phone or Palm so that you will not forget something important to do.


So ask yourself this question, “What could I do to remind myself to consider God’s word and its authority over my life?”  Maybe you used to wear a WWJD bracelet but that got old.  You could think about using a few yellow stickies spread around in a couple key places that remind you to think about God.  If that doesn’t work, maybe you could sew something on your clothes, . . . a tassel might do the job.

 

Numbers 15:38 says: “Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord (Tekhelet) on each tassel.”  So what happened to the blue cord?  Most prayer shawls today are made with all white cords.


These three YouTube video clips will take you on a journey that involves old scrolls of old rabbinical teaches and instructions about how to make the Tassels (Tzitzit), scuba diving, archeology, chemistry and more.  Check it out.

What Happened to the Blue Thread?:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving.

The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.

    - John R. W. Stott


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

    - Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)

Dave Lyman

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