As the Israelites travelled along the route to go round Edom, they grew impatient on the way. They grumbled and spoke against God and against Moses asking why they had to be taken out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. They complained of lack of bread, water and they detested the food they were being fed calling it “miserable.” Well, you can remember the story, the Lord sent venomous snakes among them that bit them and many Israelites died. They soon repented acknowledging they had sinned against God and Moses. They pleaded with Moses to ask God to take away the snakes. So as Moses prayed, the Lord instructed Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who was bitten and looked at the bronze snake, they lived, saved from death.
Talking about snakes is not a cup of coffee for me. I get the chills just by thinking about them. Curiosity gets the best of me and I find myself watching National Geographic. I learn about their behaviour, the venom, and how they expand to give room to swallow the kill then lay still for a while as they wait for complete digestion. One documentary that still lingers in my mind was recorded in Massai Mara. A snake had killed and swallowed up an antelope. Out of greed, it swallowed a long stick and died. As some lions were hunting they came across the dead snake. You guessed right. The lions tore up the snake with their strong canine jaws, feasted on the snake and the antelope inside of it. Now that is what I call gross. I am still recovering from that episode. Oddly, the same venom is used to treat human diseases! As you indulge yourself seeking for more information, check on Anaconda, the longest and heaviest of the reptile species.
Can you imagine a viper fastening itself on your hand and instead of screaming and going in shock, you just shake it off? Apostle Paul did that. Presently in our walk with God, just like the Israelites, we may have sinned because of discontentment and discouragement brought about by COVID-19. Maybe we are not content with how the Government is dealing with the pandemic. Maybe we have murmured and tried to find fault where there is no fault and we have valued less the resources and privileges that God has gifted us. Because of unbelief, many Israelites died thus did not escape the righteous judgment which God brought upon them. God waits for us to repent and ask Him for forgiveness and mercy.
Moses put the bronze snake up on a high cross where everyone could see, Jesus, too, was lifted up, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish. The Israelites didn’t know of its fuller significance that Jesus Christ would bring to this event. The Israelites were healed of their sickness by looking at the snake on the pole. All believers today can be saved from the sickness of sin by looking to Jesus’ death on the cross. It was not the snake that healed the people but their belief that God could heal them. They acted out this belief by obeying God’s instructions.
For believers though they are delivered from eternal death, they will still have to encounter the pain of sin because they are still in this world. By continually looking up at the cross, it means we believe that God can deliver us from life’s issues; COVID-19, broken marriage, sexual addiction, layoffs, retrenchment, divorce and so forth. For the unbeliever, invite Christ today in your life. God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners Christ Jesus died for us; Romans 5:8. God has provided this way for us to be healed of sin’s deadly bite.
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