Numbers 21 – All you need to do is look..

Hello y’all. Happy monday 🙂

Today we are studying Numbers 21. Be blessed 🙂

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God is such a merciful God. The Israelites cried out to Him and made a vow and He heard them. they inturn fulfilled their vow to God. After this glorious defeat, the israelites reverted back to their old ways of grumbling and complaining. I’m amazed though, that after all God had  done for them including the mircale in verse 3, they still couldnt trust Him to provide, lead and direct them. They couldnt trust His Lordship. They seem to only be loyal to God when things are good.

Before we start judging them, do we also complain and murmur when things are not going our way? Are we only loyal and committed to God when we feel He is doing things the way we want Him to ?

Their attitude led to God punishing them. Snakes bit them and they were dying one by one. Sin never ends well. It might seem pleasurable in the beginning but the end is never good.

Moses mediated on behalf of the people and God provided a remedy for them. He asked him to create a bronze snake and lift it up on a pole and whoever looks up to this snake will be healed.

“Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed” (Num 21: 8-9 NLT)

I have to admit i got confused reading this bit because i remember God telling them not to bow or worship any graven image and here is God asking them to create a image and look up to that image for their healing. so i did some research and in the process i stumbled on this artcile by Stephen J Cole which helped to understand the significance of the snake and how it relates to us today.

Its a lengthy article but i have tried to extract some bits out to include in the blog. i suggest you read the full article if you can here.

The snake-bitten people could not do anything to save themselves. They were dropping like flies. God had to provide a way for them to be healed or they all would die. When they confessed their sin and asked Moses to intercede for them, God provided this strange remedy: Make a bronze snake, put it on a pole, and whoever looks at it will live. Even so, we’re all under the condemnation of eternal death because of our sin. No human remedy can help. God graciously provided the way of salvation for us. He sent His own Son to be like that snake, lifted up in the wilderness.

Note several things about this remedy of the snake and how it compares to the cross of Jesus Christ. First, it’s a supernatural remedy. It came from God. Moses didn’t say, “Give me a few days to think about this.” The cross is God’s remedy. It didn’t come from the world’s most brilliant philosophers or religious geniuses. It came from God, who devised His plan of salvation before the foundation of the world.

Also, the snake on the pole was a sufficient remedy. Moses didn’t say, “Look at the snake, go home and take two aspirin, and you’ll feel better in the morning!” He didn’t say, “Look at the snake, rub some of this special oil that I’ll sell you on your wound, and you’ll be cured. We’re offering a special discount if you buy it today!” He didn’t say, “Bring your own offerings to the pole and offer them up to the snake.” There was nothing to add to it. God would heal you if you didn’t do anything except to look at that bronze snake.

In the same way, the cross of Christ is sufficient for the salvation of the worst of sinners. You don’t have to add anything to it. You don’t have to give money to the church. You don’t need to do penance to help pay for your sins. You don’t have to join the church. You don’t need to add your good works to what Christ has done. Jesus paid it all! There’s nothing for you to do, except to look unto Him in faith and He will save you.

The snake was also a sure remedy. Everyone who looked was cured on the spot. No one who looked died. It was a perfect, sure-fire cure for everyone who looked.

Even so, Jesus saves every sinner who believes in Him. As He says (John 3:15), “Whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” There aren’t any cases too difficult for God! Maybe you’re a notorious sinner. So was Paul! So was Matthew, the tax-collector! So was the woman at the well! So was the Gerasene demoniac! So was the thief on the cross! The Bible is filled with terrible sinners who looked to Jesus and were saved. If you will believe in Jesus, the remedy is 100-percent effective. He says (John 6:37b), “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

Also, this snake was a simple remedy. As I said, it was sufficient so that there was nothing else needed. Its sufficiency made it extremely simple. And all you need to do is believe in Jesus as the One who paid the penalty for your sin and you will have eternal life.

Also, this snake was a self-effacing remedy. You couldn’t take any credit for your cure. You couldn’t boast that you had fasted for days or deprived yourself of anything or done any good works or brought any offerings to the snake. You just needed to realize that you couldn’t cure yourself. You were doomed if God didn’t intervene. That was humbling to your pride!

The cross of Christ is a humbling remedy for your sin. First, you have to admit that you’re a hopelessly lost sinner. That’s a huge stumbling block for “good” people like Nicodemus. “I’m not like these publicans and prostitutes, am I? Sure, I have my faults, but I’m not a bad sinner! I’m a basically good person!” It’s humbling to realize that you are far more sinful than you ever imagined! It’s humbling to admit that you can’t do anything to save yourself. Jesus did it all. All you have to do is trust in Him. His salvation is by grace (undeserved favor) through faith so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

Thus, because of sin, all are under the curse of death. God graciously provided the remedy for our curse.

In his Exposition of the Gospel of John (on monergism.org) A. W. Pink wrote:

Man became a lost sinner by a look, for the first thing recorded of Eve in connection with the fall of our first parents is that “The woman saw that the tree was good for food” (Gen. 3:6). In like manner, the lost sinner is saved by a look. The Christian life begins by looking: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22). The Christian life continues by looking: “Let us run with patience the race which is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith” (Heb. 12:2). And at the end of the Christian life we’re still to be looking for Christ: “For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). From first to last, the one thing required is looking at God’s Son.

So the question is, “Have you looked to the crucified, risen, and exalted Lord Jesus to save you from the curse of sin?” Are you still looking to Him as you run the race of faith?

-Excerpt from https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-16-how-jesus-snake-john-314-15-numbers-214-9 , Steven J. Cole, 2013

Thanks for joinging today. Pls feel free to share your thoughts on the chapter.

Have a blessed evening 🙂

***With God all things are possible***

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