Tag: bronze serpent
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!
Scripture reading for February 17th: Numbers 21-25
Complaining can be deadly! The Bible teaches that there is power in our words and what comes out of our mouth has roots in our heart. (Matthew 12:34-35) Faith is something that we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth. The object of true biblical faith must be God and His word, not our fears or a lie. The Israelites had a lot to learn.
“They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”” (Numbers 21:4-5)
Sin is deeply ingrained in our hearts. Even this group of people who had seen many miracles and daily experienced the miraculous supply of manna still had sin in their hearts. The cloud of Glory and Fire of God at night did not keep them from complaining. The earth opening and swallowing some who complained alive did not seem to have an effect. They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it, and would not be happy until they got it!
God did answer their complaints about Him and Moses by sending some poisonous snakes to bite them. When the complainers began to die because of the bites, they cried out to Moses for help. It is interesting that leaders are blamed for perceived troubles, but when the consequences of sin do begin to come, then the same complainers want prayer and begin to confess sin. (Numbers 21:6-7)
Moses was given a strange remedy for the snake bites by God. (Numbers 21:8-9) He was to make a bronze snake and put it on top of a pole for the people to look at. Anyone who was bitten could look with faith and live! Jesus Christ used this verse from Scripture to describe His own death on the cross for the whole world. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-16)