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February 11, 2024 - Numbers 21-25

An episode both sad and full of hope.  “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 Lord had just responded to Israel’s prayers for deliverance and had given them victory over their enemies, for crying out loud!  How quickly they began to complain because they were not feasting on the best cuisine.  Just a sad, sad situation in which the people were ungrateful and, also, simply refused to trust God.  Suffering the consequences of their actions, “the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you.  Pray to the Lord that he take away the serpents from us’” (21:7).  And consider how gracious was the Lord in the episode of Balaam and the people’s worship of Baal at Peor, which follows.

 

The people did have enough sense to come to Moses and plead, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you.  Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us” (21:7).  The Lord answered and, though a great and harsh discipline was felt by the people, many lives were saved that day.  Jesus explained, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-16).  Like Israel, we have sinned greatly, but Jesus has been lifted up for our sakes that in him we should have eternal life!  What a wonderful and glorious message we have to tell!

 

I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah!

The message unto you I’ll give.

‘Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!

It is only that you “look and live.”

“Look and live,” my brother, live.

Look to Jesus now and live.

‘Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!

It is only that you “look and live.”  --W. A. Ogden (1887)

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