Week Fourteen: Day 1

    April 08, 2024 | Be God's Light

    The Bronze Snake on a Pole

    Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9 (NIV)

    4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

    6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

    8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.


    Enough is enough. Ever since God parted the Red Sea, the once-enslaved Israelites unleashed a cascade of complaints against God and Moses. Here’s a quick review of only some of their grumblings:

    “The water is bitter” (Exodus 15)
    “We’re hungry” (Exodus 16)
    “We’re thirsty” (Exodus 17)
    “We want a tangible god” (Exodus 32)
    “We want better food” (Numbers 11)
    “We want better leaders” (Numbers 12)
    “We can’t defeat the people” (Numbers 14)
    “We want to be the priests” (Numbers 16)
    “We’re thirsty…again” (Numbers 20)
    “We detest this miserable food” (Numbers 21)

    Finally, God had had enough. He was up to His ears leading the people through the rugged desert. He didn’t have time to listen to more complaining. So he sent poisonous snakes to take care of them, until yet again Moses interceded for his ungrateful flock. At God’s instruction, Moses made a bronze snake that brought healing to people when they saw it.

    The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. But the two verses that precede it reference this Old Testament event. Take a look at what Jesus said about Himself, whom he refers to as the Son of Man: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. 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).

    Jesus would be lifted up on a criminal’s cross and bear the sins of the world. By His death, He would defeat the poisonous venom of “that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan” for ever and ever (Revelation 20:2, 10). Believing in Jesus is the only way we can be freed from our slavery to sin and become children of God (Galatians 4:7).

    For that great gift of salvation, we should have nothing but gratitude. Philippians 2:14 reminds us, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’”


    Snake Bites

    It is true.

    If your life is
    Full of complaining
    The fangs will turn,
    And bite you.

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