The story goes like this: the people of God had forgotten. This actually happens a lot. After a good bit of time and after lots of days doing the same old thing people forget where they have come from and the struggles they went through.
Israel as they followed Moses and went through the wilderness began to complain about so many things. But that really is human nature. We forget the things that are the most important as our situation moves further away from the time when they actually happened.
The children of Israel lived in slavery and bondage in Egypt. It was an extremely hard time. Yes they had food, clothes and a place to live, but they had to work hard and have little rest or no relief from the task masters that they worked for.
After they left slavery the day in and day out of the desert began to weigh on them. Not only did they forget lots of things, but these people turned away from God. That is not a great move. In fact their choices led them to miss some of the biggest and sweetest blessings that God has given anyone.
As the people cried out God put in place reminders that the people who see and be reminded to follow God. We need reminders too.
Numbers 15:38-41 NLT
“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord. 39 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. 40 The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt that I might be your God. I am the Lord your God!”
The tassels were to be sewn on to the clothing of the leaders, and the reminders worked. God made us and knows how to help us the best. By placing a reminder that they could see there was a special point put in the mind of each person that cared to follow God.
When they saw the tassels, to obey God and to be holy would come to their minds. They would think about the fact that they have a God who has saved them and protected them, God who has provided food and direction, God who loved them and had a better plan that would take them to a new land.
As I read this Scripture and the verses around it I was struck by the comment about the “land that flows with mild and honey”. I thought that phrase was reserved solely for the promised land where God was leading them. But that was not true. Someone remarked that the land they have been released from, the nation of Egypt, was a “land that flows with milk and honey”. I do understand the symbolism. The rivers weren’t flowing with milk. That phrase was about the resources supplied to them.
We need reminders of where we have come from and of what God has done in our lives. He has loved us and forgiveness us. God loves us and nothing can change that fact.
There are all kinds of reminders around us. People wear ribbons about cancer. People tie reminder ribbons on their fingers to keep them from forgetting. Others tie ribbons around trees and other places as points of honor and of remembering. God reminds us often.
He is for us and not against us. He has written our names in the book of life. He is preparing us for amazing days and for blessings. He was doing all kinds of things to remind His people, Israel, that He is planning a time that will blow their minds.
We need reminders. Put that Bible verse in your mind, on the dashboard of your car or on the window of your bathroom. Let God remind you of His love and of His best.