Num 15-20: The wilderness wanderings: This delay period marks
transition from the old (Num 1-14) to the new generation (Num 21-36). A historic
suspension: no progress toward the Promised Land is made here.
THE COMMUNITY IS TO HAVE THE SAME RULE FOR YOU AND FOR THE
ALIEN LIVING AMONG YOU; THIS IS A LASTING ORDINANCE FOR THE GENERATIONS TO COME.
YOU AND THE ALIEN SHALL BE THE SAME BEFORE THE LORD: Even this early in
Israel's history, there is the suggestion that the stranger might have the right
to God's mercy as well as the Jew, as long as he is in the camp, and has
performed the rites required to be part of the camp in circumcision and the
acceptance of God's laws (cp Gen 17:12, Exo 12:48). This law (cp also v 29)
extended right through. The stranger, in order to be accepted within the flock
of God, had to abide by every rule and ordinance of God -- just as it is now.
CORNERS: Heb "kanaph" = sw "wings" in Mal 4:2: The sun
of righteousness with healing in his "wings".
WITH A BLUE CORD ON EACH TASSEL: The fringe itself
represented a law, because it encircled the wearer and restricted him within it.
Its blue color reminded him of the sky above and the heavenly origin of the law.
He could not go anywhere without seeing the heavens, God's dwelling place,
stretched out above. His clothes were all blue; his laws were all divine; and
his only hope was to remember and meditate upon them always. Blue therefore
represents the Divine, or heavenly, element in our garments. We are to manifest
God's love and mercy always. We must try to follow Christ's footsteps. Christ so
perfectly imitated God's character that those who saw him, saw God. God told the
Israelites that they were to be His witnesses to the heathen. The same holds
true for us. The blue is a color which should increase in our
"What nation under heaven can show a feature of civilisation
like this? Talk of the fashions for the month. Here is a fashion for ever! whose
sole object was to keep before the mind the one thing most odious of all others
to the taste of the followers of Parisian models. It shows more eloquently than
anything else the place which God should have in human life, according to God's
view of the matter, and His view alone is the one which will prevail with the
children of wisdom. All other views are bound to become as extinct as the
vegetation of the carboniferous era" (LM 81).
God here shows his awareness of human weakness and our need
for constant reminder. The Israelites had to sew fringes to their garments that
they might remember what God had done for them, and so that they did not go
astray. There may well be ways we too could do this for ourselves, to make an
association with some physical aspect of our lives which we see many times a
day, and use that to remind us, so that each time we see it we think of the
wonderful redemption wrought in Jesus.
It was the fringe of such a garment that the woman with the
issue of blood touched: Mat 9:20.