Connecting with God’s healing mercy!
Scripture Reading for February 17th: Numbers 21-15
The Israelites were doing what they did best–grumbling! As they grumbled against Moses and God, God sent poisonous snakes which bit the complainers and caused death. (Numbers 21:5) The Israelites then asked Moses to pray for them and confessed their sin. (Numbers 21:7) God answered Moses as he prayed with some strange instructions. He was to make a bronze serpent and place it on a pole in the camp. Anyone who was bitten could look at the bronze snake on the pole and he would be healed! (Numbers 21:8-9)
God put this ancient story in the Bible to teach us that sin causes death! God has repeated this over and over but His people seemed to forget! When we grumble against leadership, God isn’t pleased because we are actually grumbling against Him. Because of sin’s consequences, we lose our connection with God and need His healing grace. Good leaders are there, even when we mess up, to intercede for us and restore us. God’s remedy sometimes seems strange to the world! Imagine! Put a bronze serpent on a pole and look to it!
This story is actually a picture of the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. In the Gospel of John, Jesus used this story before the most famous verse in all of Scripture. The snake that was lifted on the pole is a picture of Jesus Christ crucified. He was made sin, who knew no sin, that we might be healed from the serpent’s poisonous bite. If we will look with faith to His finished work on the cross, we will be saved and healed! God loves His people and wants to save them from the poison of sin’s bite and the consequence of sin–death! (John 3:14-18) If we refuse the remedy provided by God, then we will die and perish! This ancient snake-bite remedy turns out to be the current remedy for all mankind! I am grateful that I have looked at Jesus Christ with faith and received the healing from my own sin of grumbling, complaining and rebellion! Have you done the same? (Romans 10:9-10) It is through the cross of Jesus that all who look to Him can connect with His healing grace!