Numbers 21.4-9 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
This incredible incident in the wanderings of the people of God is a type of the redemption that is offered to man through faith in the gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. But it is also contains some practical elements that relate to our daily lives as well. Please note that the people were discouraged because of the way. Well, Who was leading them? The Lord was leading them by the cloud during the day, and by the pillar of fire at night. Have you ever been discouraged because of the way things are going in your life? Read on. They accused God of bringing the into the wilderness to die. They despised the daily manna that He provided them. What about you reader? Are you angry at the ways of God? Do you loathe His daily provision for you?
Note that God does not take such criticism of Him kindly. He sends these poisonous, fiery serpents among them. Many are bitten and killed. Murmuring and complaining will kill you and me, beloved. Murmuring and complaining is like a serpents venom that gets into the bloodstream of your soul. It effects your entire perspective in life. It causes you to despise not only the provision of God, but the God of your provision as well. But God is both good and gracious. Does He wipe them out? No, He sends them the cure for sin. A serpent on a pole. When bitten (not if), if a man or woman looked at that serpent with faith in God’s provision, they would not die.
Couple of things here. They asked God to take away the serpents. He didn’t. Until we get to heaven, we are going to have to deal with sin in the world and sin in our lives. We are sinners. We do sin. We need forgiveness. The only cure for sin is Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice, once and for all, and every day, all day. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. Life is short. Death is sure. Sin the cause. Christ the cure.