The people of Israel rebelled and refused to give their hearts to God. They forgot about the miracles God had performed, and they selfishly complained about their food. They made empty promises to repent and were outright ungrateful. They ‘tempted’ God with their over confidence and lack of self-discipline. Because of their wickedness, God sent fiery serpents to destroy them (Numbers 21:5-9). Those who were bitten died. But Moses interceded for the afflicted people, and God gave them a remedy to heal their wounds. God ordered that a brazen serpent be erected on a pole and placed in the midst of the camp. All the people had to do to escape death was to look up at the serpent on the pole. All who looked lived. Jesus in His discourse with Nicodemus used the analogy of the brazen serpent as a similarity of His crucifixion (John 3:4-14).
Jesus explained that just as the Israelites were healed of their sickness by looking at the serpent on the pole, all believers today can be saved from the sickness of sin by looking to Jesus’ death on the cross. It was not the snake that healed the people, but their belief that God could heal them. This belief was demonstrated by their obedience to God’s instruction. In the same way, we today should continue to look to Christ through His word: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2.
Wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone, but, we should not let today’s pressures make it easy to ignore or forget the lessons of the past. The key to remembering is to study the Bible regularly and let the word of God be your healing from the bites of sin (John 3:16]).
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Send for a copy of how to walk in the Spirit in your daily life, and a copy of our Intercessory Prayer. Contact Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <w310watson@aol. com>. God bless.