The question now is, ‘are you going to believe what you already know is true; or are you going to hold on to your unsubstantiated bias narrative, and in so doing, choose hell over eternity with our Heavenly Father?
God has ‘heard the voice of the people’ many times now and delivered them from their struggle. From the time He heard their cry in Egypt and delivered them from slavery, God has provided every need the people had; even bringing abundant water from the rock that they might all drink and not be thirsty. This is an amazing thing when you consider there were over a million men, women, children, and livestock to care for. Yet the people were never grateful; “they 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” referring to the manna God provides them every morning but the Sabbath to sustain them all (Numbers 21:5).
There was water and there was food, it was just not happening the way they desired in their willful arrogance. How often do we cause our own problems because we don’t get our selfish way, and miss out on the blessing God is leading us too. To wake the people up from their selfish stupor, God “sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.”(v.6) Yes, this is a harsh response, but you must remember who they are dealing with; God is not some mere genie in a bottle you get to rub his belly and gain the selfish desires of your heart. No! God is Absolute Perfection, Holiness pouring out divine love on His people for the purpose of redeeming them to the position they were created for. Consider your reaction to last time you did something to help another person and they did not respond with gratitude, you didn’t consider a small offense? With God there is no small sin because you are not dealing with a small God, but Absolute Perfection.
The severity of God’s response shocked the people into realizing their selfish arrogance and they “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. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So 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.”(vs. 7-9) Unlike in Hebrew and Christian literature, the serpent in most eastern cultures was a sign of healing, much like it is seen today in our medical emblem. The people who were infected with poisonous venom were told to look to this sign for healing; “and it came about that when anyone was bitten, when they looked to the bronze servant, they lived.”(v.9) Notice that they serpents were not killed or removed from them as they asked, but that they had to be obedient to God’s Word and look to the sign He gave to find their salvation.
It was this Jesus was referring to when He said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”” (John 3:14-15)
The choice is yours from where you will look for deliverance from the venomous power of your sin. You can rely on your own bias beliefs that have led to your condition, or you can look to Jesus who has been lifted up on the Cross to take away the sting of your sin and cover over the shame of your guilt. By faith in Jesus’ work of salvation we are declared justified in God’s sight and healed of deaths sting; and able to walk boldly into His presence singing with All who believe on the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Balls in your court…. in whatever you are facing today, will you look to Jesus… or will you complain you’re not getting your own way and look away to yourself, wallowing in self pity? There is so much God desires to pour into your life, He just waits for you to open up to Him and become a cup overflowing with His abundant living water of mercies.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.