If you are just joining me, welcome! You can find an explanation of this series here: Day 1 – Introduction.
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone is who bitten can look at it and live.” Numbers 21:8
Story: Numbers 21:4-9
Something I tell my kids is: complaining always makes us lose something. That was definitely the case in this story.
The Israelites get sick of the same meal, get sick of life not being easy, and get vocal to let everyone know. Bam! Venomous snakes are biting and killing people off right and left. The people change their tune, admit they sinned, and beg for the snakes to disappear.
God didn’t make the snakes disappear. In fact, he instructs Moses to make a statue of one and put it on a pole. Does this not strike you as incredibly odd? Did you wonder why Moses wasn’t instructed to make a statue of an eagle, a honey badger, or a mongoose – something that eats venomous snakes? The snakes were the problem! Why did they need to look at their problem?
I remember a time I locked myself in the bathroom – the only place a mom seems to get any privacy. I was so frustrated dealing with the kids that I was crying and praying in a whisper-scream.
“You say the truth will set me free, but my truth? Is not pretty! I’m a mess trying to control my temper. And failing I might add! How does that truth set me free?”
Through my tears, I looked up and saw the metal cross hanging on the wall opposite my medicine cabinet. It struck me: Jesus said he is the truth. And he was nailed to the cross. That’s pretty ugly. My ugly truth was nailed to the cross with Him.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15 (Jesus speaking)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Looking at my sin problems is painful. But I have to, in order to see they’ve been covered and conquered by Christ’s blood.
God gave a visual of what was to come, even though the Israelites couldn’t possibly have fully understood. What they understood was: look and live. We, also, don’t have to fully understand all that God has done for us before we can look and live.