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“Facing Serpents”

“Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!’”

Numbers 21:8

AGAIN, the Israelites grew impatient…AGAIN, they blamed Moses…AGAIN, they griped about God’s provisions. This time God sent poisonous snakes among them and their bites killed many people. Besides symbolizing Satan, I wonder if the snakes also represented the poison of those complaints that had been slithering around since Egypt. Perhaps it was time to rid the camp of THAT poison as well, before it killed everyone!

The Israelites were told to simply look at the snake on the pole and they would be healed. We understand the pole Moses lifted up was a foresight of Jesus lifted up on the cross. But perhaps there is another lesson we could glean from this image…

People had to obey in order to live, but obeying meant they had to look straight at the enemy that was destroying their lives. Sometimes we need to face the things that are stealing the life God meant for us to live. Face strangling fears, face devastating lies, face devouring resentments. When we face those serpents straight on, we see how ugly, slithery, and slimy they are. But we face them in the power of the One who DID hang on that pole years later. In order to live, let’s obey JESUS who defeated the serpent king forever. HE can heal every one of our poisonous bites!


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