Look to Jesus
4They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, c to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5they 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!”
6Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7The 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.
8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9So 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.
What do we see in this passage?
• The way to the promised land is never easy. God’s people although blessed by God’s promises and His presence still has to travel a long way to get the promised land. To go around Edom means taking the longer way. Our walk of faith can be referred to as an adventure, a wandering in the wilderness or even a bootcamp!
Why? There are lessons to be learned, in the journey is where our lives are changed.
• Impatience, complaints and speaking against God and his people are dangerous. It veils reality and denies faith in God. It shows our lack of obedience and cooperation with God. Lack of gratitude is dangerous. Discontentment leads to greater losses. It is rebellion that causes us to forget the good we have received from God, we lie and we deny the sovereignty of God over our situations, over the world and over the lives of His children.
• God allows and uses pain to awaken His people from their terrible attitude, words and actions towards Him. God uses pain to warn people of certain death.
Snake-venomous, fiery-poisonous and aggressive. Troubles can become aggressive and poisonous. Life comes under attack when we become impatient, when we speak against God and against those who lead us in faith, and when we deny the grace and sufficient blessings of God and speak as if you are being maltreated. The sting of sin is seriious. There are disastrous things that can harm our souls more than our simple discomforts.
• Repentance is key because it is the sign of a humbled heart towards God and towards man.God responds to repentant people and provides an antidote, a vaccine against sin. It is the humble acceptance of our mistakes and an acknowledgement of God’s righteousness by turning to His mercy. We ask for help, we swallow our pride.
“We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.”
• God provides a cross for salvation.
The bronze snake on a pole is a type of Jesus Christ. Jesus was hung on a pole to represent the sin of mankind and at the same time be the solution-the salvation of those who look and believe in Him as the Savior.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
NLT For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
John 12:32And I, when I am lifted up g from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
The pain and suffering the world is experiencing is not the judgement of God yet. The book of Revelations tells us that there will be worse punishments coming. These are like birthpains, indicating to people today that God is calling out. These circumstances remind us of the vulnerability of life and points us back to the source and sustainer of life.
These are moments of great testings for our faith. These are moments of testing our love for God and for our fellowmen.
These are moments that should cause us to get down on our knees, be humble and to pray.
But God is merciful. Let me emphasize that. He has given to us His own Son Jesus Who was crucified on a cross so we will have someone to look up to in times of need and ultimately for the salvation of our souls. The saving power of Jesus Christ is till the only vaccine for the sin of mankind. It is tried and tested and many have received Christ and their lives are changed forever.
Romans 10:8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” d that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
Acts 4:10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
LOOK TO JESUS AND BE SAVED!