Numbers 21:8-9

Numbers-Serpent-Cross Weekly Meds

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So, Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” – Numbers 21:8-9

The people of Israel continue to complain over and over despite God blessing them over and over while caring for them in the desert. This time the people loathe the food God miraculously provided for them. They complain not just about their suffering but also about their blessings. As judgement for their complaining God then sent poisonous snakes that bit and killed many of the people. It is in this context that, at God’s command, Moses makes the bronze serpent that heals the people.

It is an interesting thought that God did not just send the serpents away. The people still got bitten by the venomous snakes. If they looked to the bronze serpent, they lived but if they didn’t, they died. In John 3:14 Jesus reveals that Moses’ bronze serpent was an Old Covenant picture of the cross. If we look to Jesus, we will not perish but live eternally. If we do not look to Jesus, we will die just as the Israelites died.

In our fallen human nature, the nature that is prone to complain, sometimes we need to get bitten before we turn to Christ. The suffering and near-death experience the Israelites had because of the snakes was meant to drive them to the cross to be healed. The same is true for us. Sometimes it takes suffering to make us realize we need Jesus. But Jesus is right there all the time ready for us to look to Him and be healed.

His mercy endures forever!

Pastor Flynn