There is a television awareness advertisement that comes often these days! Coronavirus like a spiked ball walks on the street ( music at the background) When everyone shuts the door it does not find anyone to attack. Suddenly a man appears on the road on his bike, Corona immediately climbs on his shoulder and goes with him. Whenever I see this I remember the following incident that took place years ago.
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. Numbers 21:9
Our scripture reads almost like another chapter in a horror story. The setting is the dry hot desert, years into the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. This story is the end of a series of murmuring stories, where God’s people wonder if God is really leading them at all. They are tired and cranky, and become impatient about their destination. Their journey has seemed to cause them nothing but trouble, with one thing after another that makes things difficult.
The deeper they get into the wilderness,the memory of what they had as slaves in Egypt came as a pleasant dream. Since chapter 11 they have longed for the “good old days” when they at least had food to eat, like cucumbers, fish, melons, leeks, onions and garlic (Numbers 11:4-6).
BUT of course not mentioned was the oppressive rule and the demands for increased hard physical labor of building bricks and other abuse they endured as slaves for years.
Now the scene is set. They are at odds with one another and with their leaders like how we blame each other today! Shhhh creeping music in the background, alerting us it’s about to get even worse. It’s snakes!
Unfortunately, this is a fairly true reflection of our life today! Perhaps the Pandemic across the globe that strikes close to our home here make us panic beyond words! It walks about us with a background music as we see in the ad today!
Looking back to the Israelites, we discover that, despite their complaining and perhaps doubts, they turn to God. They bring the brokenness of their life including the snakes, and beg for them to be removed. And God responds with an act of solidarity.
Look here! God does not remove the snakes, but provides a means for healing in the midst of danger. God brings healing precisely where the sting is the worst. Amazing!
God instructs Moses to take the poisonous serpent, the ones who have caused the people such pain, and set it on a pole that people might be healed.
And today we know that it was to this wilderness of a world that God sent Jesus Christ, that we might lift our eyes and see His love. He was was lifted up on the cross to save us from the fear that grips us today!
What are you afraid of? In the midst of the wilderness, there is good news. LOOK UP AND LIVE! Look up at our Saviour who hung on the cross for us! There is victory and deliverance! Then why do you fear???????
( picture taken at Mt Nebo – Jordan , at the Memorial of Moses)