Loops of Blue
In contemplating the structure of the tabernacle in the wilderness we may observe what an important place was assigned to the “loops of blue”. By means of them and the “clasps of gold” the curtains were joined together, and the manifested unity of the whole structure preserved. These loops and clasps might seem to be very insignificant and unimportant; but, without them, there would have been no unity. The curtains, however beautiful in themselves, would have hung apart from each other, and thus one grand feature of the manifestation would have been lost.
Now, looking at the tabernacle as a figure of Christ, as surely we may, we can easily trace the beauty and significance of those loops of blue and clasps of gold. They typified that perfect unity and consistency in the character and ways of the Man Christ Jesus which were the result of His heavenly grace and divine energy. In the life of the blessed Lord Jesus, and in all the scenes and circumstances of that life, we not only see each distinct phase and feature perfect in itself, but also a perfect combination of all those phases and features, by the power of that which was heavenly and divine in Him. The curtains of the true tabernacle were not only beautiful in themselves, but they were beautifully combined—exquisitely linked together by means of those “loops of blue” and “clasps of gold” which can only be discerned and appreciated by those who are, in some measure, instructed in the holy mysteries of the sanctuary.
Let me add, as well, that what is true of the Divine Living Word, is equally true of the divine written Word. The spiritual student of Holy Scripture will readily discern the “loops of Blue” and “clasps of Gold”. This is only what we might expect. The Living Word is the divine embodiment of the written Word; and the written Word is the divine transcript of the Living Word. Hence, we may look for the same heavenly unity, the same divine consistency—the same rare and exquisite combination in both the one and the other. It would of course be pleasant and profitable to trace, in company with the reader, the various illustrations of the loops and clasps, through the Word of God; but to do this fully would demand a volume; whereas, at present, I have merely time and space for a brief suggestive fragment. I should, however, like to give an example or two from the written Word which perhaps may lead him to study the subject for himself.
In 1 Cor. 16, we have a very lovely and a very practical illustration of our subject. At v13 the apostle says, “quit yourselves like men; be strong”. Here we have one fine feature of the Christian character—that manly strength which is so desirable. But this, if taken by itself, might easily degenerate into a rough, rude, high–handed way in dealing with others, the very opposite of what we find in our divine model. Hence the Spirit in the apostle forms a loop of blue, and by means of a golden clasp, links on to this manly strength, another feature which is so needful, namely love. “Let all things ye do be done in love”, (v14). Most precious combination! Strength and love. Love and strength. If you untie this heavenly loop, you will either have a high, haughty, inconsiderate style, or a soft, pliable, enfeebled mode of acting which will sacrifice everything for peace and quietness.
Again look at that noble definition of pure religion, given at the close of the first chapter of James. There the apostle uses the loop and clasp in order to connect together the two phases of divine religion. “To visit orphans and widows in their affliction”, is looped with “to keep oneself unspotted from the world”, (v27). In other words, active benevolence and personal holiness are inseparably linked together. Untie the loop, and what have you got? Either a sort of benevolence which can go hand in hand with the most intense spirit of worldliness; or a rigid pharasaic separation without a single generous emotion. It is only the presence of that which is heavenly and divine that can secure true unity and consistency of character. And, let it never be forgotten, that true Christianity is simply Christ reproduced by the Holy Spirit, in the life of the Christian. Dry rules will never do; it must be Christ in all.