Friday Devotional - Jesus in the Book of Numbers: The Bronze Snake

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Friday Devotional - Jesus in the Book of Numbers: The Bronze Snake

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday Devotional

Do you trust God? The Old Testament Book of Numbers has a lot to do with trust. It tells the story of how the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, how they counted their “numbers” with a census, how they sinned and were held accountable, and then how they prepared to enter the Promised Land again. Because they didn’t trust God, they ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. During this time, we see a continuous pattern of grumbling, defiance, discipline, and death. How much better would it have been to have trusted God? I believe that the same is true today.

There are many places in Numbers where we can see evidence of Jesus (1400 years before he was born). Today, we’re going to look at the story of the bronze snake found in Numbers 21:4-9. God was so weary of His people complaining, that he brought deadly snakes upon them as a punishment. People began to get bit, to die, and cry out for mercy. And so Moses begged God to make it stop. So, in His great mercy, God provided a way out. He had Moses put a pole with a bronze snake on it up in the middle of camp. All the people had to do when they were bitten, is to look up at it to be healed. (Notice that He didn’t just stop the snakes from biting). People would bring their loved ones to look and be healed. It didn’t require understanding. It only required that one look upon the pole.

What does this have to do with us? This story is symbolic for what Jesus would do, and did do for us up on the cross. He still provides us with a way out. John 3:14-16 says, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Israelites Bitten by Snakes

-Little initial pain, then intense suffering

-Physical death from snakes poison

-Bronze snake lifted up in the wilderness

-Looking to the snake spared one’s life

Christians Bitten by Sin

-Little initial pain, then intense suffering

-Spiritual death from sin's poison

-Jesus lifted up on the cross

-Looking to Jesus spares one's life forever

May the Israelites’ unbelief serve as a lesson to us. May we look to Jesus. And may we be determined to trust God as He leads in life.