More complaining by the people because of a lack of water and food: “And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.’ Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (21:5-6). The people, under great duress, acknowledged their sin, Moses interceded for them, and the Lord provided a bronze serpent to which the people could look and live: a picture of what Christ has accomplished for us! “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Continuing . . . Moses’ failure to uphold God as holy before the people. Aaron's death. Israel beginning to bump up against various enemies as she makes her way to Canaan, including the story of Balak and Balaam and his donkey and prophecies. This is just an amazing story! It's a story to remember and celebrate. This is no mere Hollywood spectacle, it’s the story of God's amazing provisions and care for his people, and all this leading, ultimately, to the sending of the Redeemer. The story never grows old.
When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all. –Isaac Watts (1707)