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A Lace Of Blue

We don't know what motivated the man in Numbers 15 to gather sticks on the sabbath. Whatever the reason, it stood in direct opposition to the commandment of Jehovah. "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: everyone that profaneth it shall surely be put to death". "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath day" (Exod. 31:14; 35:3). So the whole congregation stoned him to death, as Jehovah commanded Moses.

It is in this context that we are introduced to the meaning of the lace of blue. The wording is unique, a plea rather than a commandment: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments ... and that they put upon the fringe of each border a cord (lace) of blue ... that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes ...." The lace of blue was a reminder to obey.

Where had they seen this before? "And they shall bind the breastplate by

the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be upon the cunningly woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod" (Exod. 28:28). Further: "And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLY TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a lace of blue, and it shall be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre shall it be. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the holy things". What Aaron wore pictures the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His High Priesthood. Through His obedience the Lord fulfils His calling. "Though He was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which He suffered; and having been made perfect, He became unto all them that obey Him the author of eternal salvation; named of God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 5:8-10). So He bears His people upon His heart and ensures the holy character of the gifts they offer, for He, too, bears the iniquity of the holy things. Should not the obedience of the High Priest be reflected in the people over whom He officiates? Should not the lace of blue be found in their lives as well as His? The lace of blue has a very real lesson to us all about obedience.

When all the wise-hearted of Israel constructed God's house at Sinai, they completed the ten curtains, five and five according to the pattern, then bound them into one with clasps of gold (Exod. 36:8-13). These clasps that bound them into a unity were coupled together with loops of blue. What appeared in the garments of the High Priest appeared in the clothing of those that did God's bidding, and perhaps it is this that is seen in that which binds the house together. Certain it is that in our own day unity will be achieved in no other way.

The Lord's prayer included these words: "That they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected into one" (John 17:22, 23). We live in a world where circumstances pressure towards a life of disobedience. The example and bidding of the Lord is to obedience, that we follow not after our own way, but after all His commands.