9 So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.
This week our devotional thoughts are from the Old Testament scriptures that point to Jesus. Today we will look at a short narrative and unusual directive from God for Israel during their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The people had been grumbling about having to travel the long way around Edom and for their lack of water and choice of food. As a punishment, God sent poisonous snakes into their camp. As many were dying, the people came to Moses repenting of their sin and asking for relief.
Moses interceded for them, and God answered. But His response was very unusual. He told Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Those bitten by a snake could look at the snake on the pole and live.
This seems a bit out of character for God’s ways, until you read Jesus’ response to Nicodemus in John 3:14-15. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
Jesus predicted the significance of His death on the cross by relating it to the snake Moses lifted up on a pole.
Just as God brought death to the Israelites for their grumbling and unbelief, so all of us are due a similar punishment for our sins. In both situations, God’s provision involved something being lifted up from the ground on a wooden pole. When the Israelites obeyed and looked at the snake, they were spared physical death. However, when we obey and look to Jesus in faith, we will be spared spiritual death.
Consider the amazing unity of the Bible. Sixty-six books written by 40 authors in three languages over a period of 1500 years. Our beyond comprehension and indescribable God has directed history through His people to reveal Himself and His plans! Moses only saw the immediate need for saving the lives of the suffering Israelites. He did not know that casting a snake and raising it on a pole was a deliberate preview of God’s amazing plan of redemption.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Jesus being lifted up is God’s plan to give eternal life to those who believe in Him. In John 17:3 Jesus defines eternal life as knowing God and Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Not just know about Him, but have a growing relationship with Him? Tony Evans has defined faith as “acting as if God is telling the truth.”
- God’s communication and shaping of history did not stop with the compilation of the Bible. He is still at work today giving us an opportunity to join Him in His plans and purposes. What opportunities has He put before you to join with Him in carrying out His grand plan for His Kingdom to come on earth even as it is in heaven?
Pray for Vicki, a global worker from our church family, working in a school setting in the North Africa/Middle East region. Pray for continued health and resources to provide relief and care to the students and surrounding community.