Delivering the children of Israel from Eygpt after 400 years of slavery was apparently the easy part. Getting them out of the wilderness was much harder. In fact, some died there in the wilderness, never knowing the full promises of God. God, however, did not leave them alone. He, as a loving father worked with them over and over when they came into trouble. Here is one of those stories.
They had to go around the land of Edom and the soul of the people became very discouraged or impatient (as some translators put it). As to their pattern, they blamed Moses and started railing on him for bringing them out of Eygpt, so they could die in the wilderness. They complained about no water, no food, and they loathed
“this worthless bread”
God never takes kindly to this type of attitude. It is full of anger towards Him, it speaks of poor memory when it comes to His goodness. It is full of disbelief.
The result was fiery serpents. It spoke to how seriously God saw their disbelief. Those snakes were vicious. The people were bitten and many died.
It enabled them to see that they had offended God. In humility, they came to Moses and asked that he pray for them.
Moses prayed. God answered.
“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.”
Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. It worked.
The story wasn’t just for them. It was for us too. It echoes down through history. Jesus in a private conversation with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, tells him:
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son Of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus further states in the weary days before his crucifixion:
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
Jesus is the answer. In our discouragement, our disbelief, we only need
Look and Live!