Thursday July 16, 2020
Today’s Reading: Numbers 21:4-9
So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.
Meditation: The bronze serpent is a mysterious way that God responds to the disobedience of His people. Here, the people are the closest they have ever been to entering into the Promised Land. Yet, they are also the most shameless in their defiance of God at this point. How can God allow such rebellious people enter into the Land He has prepared? How will He present them to the world as a testament to His provision when the people themselves don’t even trust in His ability to provide? To what lengths must God go to prepare them in faith to enter this new home? In response, He brings forth fiery serpents upon the people, showing His command and over all living things. Sadly, while He is rejected by humankind – the crown of His Creation – He receives no opposition from the serpents that go where He leads them.
When some people get bitten and perish by these serpents, the people realize their sin and seek Moses to have God take the snakes away. Their request is answered by God in a way that tests their faith in Him. Instead of removing the serpents, God directs Moses to fashion a bronze serpent and mount it on a pole. Those bitten who look on this bronze serpent, He says, will be saved. Their help and healing is given to them, but the people must show enough faith to cast their eyes towards it. Work has been completed so that those believing in its power would benefit from it. While the presence of death is still lurking in the camp, the people do not need to fear, because a glimpse upon what God has provided ensures that they will be delivered from death.
Where do we find our deliverance from death? Who knows if all the people who had access to the bronze serpent looked upon it when they were bitten, or if some still perished with their solution at hand. As death lurks about even now and seeks to devour us, God has provided us, too, with One to look upon: Jesus, Who was raised upon a pole for our sake. Death has lost its sting in the presence of Jesus.
Prayer: LORD, thank You for Your persistence in increasing my faith and trust in You. Thank You for preserving me as I seek You. I pray that You would strengthen me to remain confident in Your power and goodness today, that I might truly be a testament of what You have done in my life. Help me point others to You by the life I live with You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.
Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Matthew 22:1-22; Numbers 21; Song of Solomon 1:1-2:7