Look to Him and Live

So Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned because we have spoken against Yahweh and against you, pray to Yahweh, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses prayed for the people. Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard; and it will be everyone who is bitten and looks at it, will live.”¬† ¬† ¬†Numbers 21:6-9 LSB

The people of Israel often experienced the wrath of God because of their grumbling, complaining, and idolatry so there is a lesson to be learned from that. God really doesn’t want to hear us whine and complain, He wants us to stay focused on Him and be grateful for the good He does for us. Now, let’s move on to the second lesson in this historical narrative.

Their grumbling and complaining had brought God’s wrath on them. God sent these fiery serpents. Their bites caused a fiery inflammation followed by death.

We see from our Scripture passage that the Israelites realized their sin of speaking against God and against Moses had brought this on, so they asked Moses to pray or intercede for them. Moses did and God told Moses to make this bronze serpent and put it on a pole so that anyone bitten by these snakes could look to this bronze serpent and live or survive the snake bite.

Jesus spoke of this incident in John 3:14-15 when He said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.” And of course, most of us can recite John 3:16 from memory, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

It’s easy to think about the Israelites and all the times they messed up wandering around in the desert. It took them 40 years to make a journey that should have taken about 14 days. Their continued grumbling, complaining and falling into idol worship caused them to remain wandering in the desert. It costs many of them the opportunity to enter the Promised Land.

There were times in my life when I have felt like those Israelites. I was wandering around whining and complaining. At times I felt as if those fiery serpents were surrounding me. I finally realized that I needed to look to Jesus. I began to seek Him with my whole heart. I began to trust in Him and do my best to obey His commands.

God gave His Son to die on the cross for us so that we could look to Him and live. God doesn’t want us to experience His wrath. He is loving, merciful and slow to anger. This means He has a great deal of patience with us. But there will come a time when we feel His wrath if we continue to mess up.

Because He wants us to get it right, He provided His Son so we can look to Him and live. If you are at a time in your life where it seems as though there is evil or fiery serpents all around you, look to Jesus. Trust in Him and live. It’s not God’s will that we should be bitten by the serpents of this world and die. He wants us to live. I beg of you to look to Him today. Seek Him with your whole heart and love Him with your whole heart.

He will not only help you to live, but He will give you peace and joy (Philippians 4:6-7). Look to Him and live. It’s that simple.

Have a great day!