The Bible is full of biblical events that shed's light upon my own personal walk with Christ every day. If you have not read the 21st chapter of Numbers, I encourage you to make this chapter a part of your study and devotion. In the above listed chapter we witness the near end of a generation of Isrealites that has practiced rebellion against God repeatedly. A generation of people that experienced forty (40) years of wilderness wondering before fully realizing their God-given potential. Before we start judging this time period in the life of Isreal, let's keep in heart and mind that each of us experience our own personal wilderness; a place where God allows us to walk in circles until we are ready to move forward in His name and by His direction. For example, how many jobs did it take, educational pursuits, or personal hardships before we discovered our true passion for life? Well, let's say Isreal experienced the same, just different circumstances.
As a nation of people, Isreal is once again complaining about what they don't have rather than remembering and recognizing the miracles God has repeatedly demonstrated throughout slavery and beyond their freedom. This particular round of complaints and dissatisfaction results in God sending snakes with poisonous venom. Each bite resulted in death. After the death of so many people, Isreal realized the consequences of their complaints, tolerance level of an Almighty God, and their need to repent. Repentance took place and was followed up with a plea to Moses their leader, as evidenced by asking him to have a prayer meeting with God, intervening on their behalf. As a result of their repentance, plea, and Moses' spiritual intervention, God instructed Moses to make a bronze image of one of the serpents, sit it on a pole, and raise it up. Each time a snake bite took place, the victim was to look at the brass serpent in order for healing to take place.
If you read St. John 3:14-15, you will quickly learn that like Isreal, we too have experienced healing. During Jesus' encounter with Nicodemuus, we quickly learn that we too had to look at the uplifted image of Jesus on the cross in order to be saved from our sins. The bronze serpent that was lifted up before the Isrealites during their wilderness experience move them from a curse to the promised land (Canaan). Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection moved us from the curse of sin to salvation in Jesus Christ.
G. D. Broadman once said, "The cross is the only ladder high enough to touch heaven's threshold."
Copyright (c) Elton L. Young, 2002-2012
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