Happy weekend to y'all! Today I want to address a topic that I know you all have had questions about. Those of you who have come out and asked about those strange looking tassels you'll sometimes see me wearing now, may have gotten your curiosity satisfied, but I thought it a good idea to type up a post so that even those who have not questioned them can know the reasons behind me wearing them as well. And then I can too can refer new readers back to this post if need be!
So what are these tassels for? Why do I wear them? These are the questions I want to cover today!
Let's get right in and start with where this is talked about and commended in the Bible. Thats right!-- this practice is not extra-Biblical, but right in Scripture! Numbers 15:37-41 reads: The Lord said to Moses, 38 “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. 39 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 chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’”
So let's break down some things:
- Who gave the command? The LORD.
- What was the command? To make four (Deuteronomy 22:12) tassels with a blue thread in each for the four corners of your garment.
- To whom was it given to? The children of Israel.
- Why was the command given? So that they could look upon them and be reminded of the commands of God; to flee their own lusts.
Thats where a bigger question comes into play: who is Israel? If we can answer that question, I think then you will understand why I think this command is still viable for us believers today.
All of us should be pretty familiar with the passages in Romans 11 that talk about branches that are grafted into the olive tree (Israel). Though this topic has been made prevalent in many teachings we're taught in mainstream churches, sadly thats where it ends most of the time. We're told we've been grafted into Israel, but that rarely is further explained; making all the dots connect that we are now actually part of Israel and therefore much more of Scripture includes us!
Ephesians chapter 2 explains this concept maybe the best out of all the passages one could turn to. It gets me every time I read it. We who were once sinners and dying in our sins, were given a Savior, and if we believe in Him by grace, through faith we are saved from the punishment of that sin (v.8). We who were once far away it says, we who were once called Gentiles by birth were once called "uncircumcised", (v.11) we were formally separated from Messiah; excluded from citizenship in Israel (v.12). But now, but now we who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. "For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
This all goes to explain that we are made part of Israel once we believe. The commands given by YHWH to Israel are therefore the instructions He has for us also still today. (I may tackle that whole concept of the Law not being "put to an end" in another post, but I just want to lay some ground in this one in reference to wearing tzitzit.)
That brings us to the next question: what does that weird word mean? Tzitzit is simply the Hebrew word for tassel! It's pronounced, "zeet-zeet". And since the majority of us believers who wear them are Messianic, we will use that Hebrew word because our purpose is to bring back to life and recognize the Hebrew roots of our faith.
In conclusion: This was not to shame anyone if their beliefs differ from mine by any means! I simply wanted to clear the air about some of the questions we've recently gotten and help you understand better our beliefs! I wear tassels because my Lord said to. Because I want to remember His ways; be reminded of them in the way He said! I want to be set apart from the world and its ways of the flesh and get back to the ways of the Father more and more. I embrace now that I am made one with His chosen people Israel and want to show that right up to the way I dress! Some people may not understand or scoff, but we are all on a journey and this is where I find myself today.
If you have any questions, please!--by all means respectfully ask!
May everyday we grow closer to the Father and HIS ways.
the elder writer