Posted by: Heather | May 7, 2010

By What Authority? – Part 3 – Doing God’s Word

You may read the introduction and Part 2 – The Tassels here.

The most intricate part of the tassels is in the tying.  The knots and wraps contain special ‘code’ that the Jews know, and remind them of God and where their authority was…both in their personal and spiritual lives.  It might seem quite overwhelming, but I promise, if you can stick with me until the end, there’s a good point to all of this.

When the tassels are tied, the threads are tied with a double knot at the top.  Then the blue thread is wrapped around the other threads 7 times in a spiral fashion.  The threads are double knotted again, then the blue thread is wrapped around 8 times.  Double knot, then wrap 11 times, double knot, wrap 13 times, and double knot one last time.  This leaves you with a “knot-wrap” pattern of “knot-7-knot-8-knot-11-knot-13-knot”.

Hebrew words have numeric values.  The number of wrappings on the tassels has significance.  The name of God has a numeric value of 26.  The first 3 sets of wraps (7+8+11) equal 26.  The numeric value of ‘echad’ (Hebrew for ‘one’) is 13.  So the wrapping pattern reminds the Jews of the first and greatest commandment, ‘God is one’:

Deut 6:4 -5  Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Another interesting thing to note here is that the numeric value of ‘God is one’ when added together is 39 (26+13).  This is the number of stripes Jesus took for our healing.  The 5 knots represent the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible.

The numeric value of the word tassel (‘tzitzit’ in Hebrew) is 600.  When added with the 5 knots and 8 threads, this comes to a grand total of 613, the number of commandments given in the Torah.  All of the commands did not apply to everyone (for example, women were exempted from keeping some of them, and some only applied to women).  But, there are 613 commandments given to the nation as a whole.

As I said, I know it seems overwhelming, and you might be thinking ‘why does this apply to me’?  We’re not commanded to wear a prayer shawl.  However, what is contained here is a vital truth to living in relationship with God.  Each wrapping and each knot meant something.  When the Jews looked at these tassels, it reminded them that they are priests and kings because of God.  They are reminded of the 5 books in which the Torah was given.  They are reminded of ALL of God’s commandments given to them, including the first and most important one.  Each tassel reminds them of their covenant with God to obey his commandments.  This is not a legalistic thing that God required them to do.  It is a simple, yet complex visual reminder that God’s Word is the most important thing in their lives.

As they look at the tassel, they mentally review God’s commands, and realize they are different than any other nation…than any other people.  As they review, their desire is for God to ‘work’ His commandments THROUGH them.  It’s not like the Pharisees keeping ‘the law’ out of legalism.  It’s saying to God, “I remember your commandments through this visual aid, and want you to allow your Word to work IN me”.  In the Hebraic mindset, reading the Word isn’t enough.  They believe if you don’t DO it, you don’t really believe it.  Authority comes from God, by DOING His Word, not simply hearing and reading it.

There is nothing magical in the tassels themselves.  As I said, they’re a visual aid.  The passage in Numbers tells us they were to wear them as a constant reminder so they wouldn’t break covenant with God by going after their own lusts.  They wore this garment all the time as a minute-by-minute reminder of their God, and their covenant with Him.

As these tassels represent authority and how it is given, they give us a picture of where our authority comes from.  If we choose a scripture and say, ‘God, your Word says this, and I expect you to do it’, this isn’t true authority.  When we do this, we reduce God to the level of a trained circus dog that we want to jump through our hoops.  He’s God.  We can’t order Him around.  If we do this, we actually place ourselves above Him, which is idolatry.   Authority is a truly different picture.  When we read the Word, and obey what it says, we begin to see authority grow.  True authority is when we allow God’s Word to work in us.

As a practical example, I’m going to use myself, because this got me right where I lived.  As I’ve shared before, weight is an issue I’ve struggled with over my lifetime.  Because of it, and not taking care of myself as I should have, I was first  diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and finally Type 2 diabetes.  I can take a scripture (Isaiah 53:5 for instance) that tells me ‘with his stripes we are healed’ and repeat that.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with having confidence in God’s Word.  I’m not speaking against that at all.  I also believe in supernatural healing and miracles.  However, if I choose to use that scripture, and ignore 1st Corinthians 6:19-20  which says:  What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s, then have I truly allowed God’s Word to work through me, and give me authority in that area?  No, I am a hearer, and not a doer.

I absolutely believe diabetes can be supernaturally healed.  But, God has also made provision in that we are to take care of, and be good stewards of the body He has given us.  It is after all, His temple.  As I came to this realization, and started asking God to work His Word in me, I’m finding I’ve had much more success in this area.  I pray that I continue to allow His Word to work, because by myself, I am nothing.

I plan to wrap this series up early next week with some examples of authority.  God bless you all.


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