The Bronze Serpent
As we study the Israelites through the Exodus we are able to look to the past and see how God remained faithful. We are able to look at the present and our own lives and hearts and see how we are not so far off from their grumblings and fallen natures. And we are able to look forward (from their perspective) to the things yet to come.
In Numbers 21 we read about the Israelites, yet again, complaining to 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.” God had had it! This time He sent fiery serpents who bit the Israelites. This is His wrath! But also with it He sent His grace and provision. Don’t we serve an awesome God?! He told Moses to erect a pole with a bronze serpent on it. The serpents would still be there, and they would still bite the Israelites. But when that happened, all they needed to do was to look up at the bronze serpent and they would be healed.
Jesus tells us in John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”
God in His infinite love gives us free will. He allows us to grumble and complain and stumble along. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES! Grace is never an excuse to stay where we are! But He offered up His Son to pay our debt. And when we fall, we need only to look to the cross, and we will be healed.