Posted by Lorren on July 25, 2010
This morning in church, the preacher talked about Numbers 21:4-9. While the preacher talked about how the fiery serpent in the story represented Jesus, I saw something else in the story today.
If you backtrack the story back to Exodus, the Israelites were living under an oppressive government. The way the Israelites lived under Pharaoh make the prospect of living in the United States under communism look like Heaven. Pharaoh was drowning their babies, the Israelites slaved away all day, and it wouldn’t really surprise me to discover that the Israelis that got too old to work were executed. It was really bad.
Finally, the Israelites were freed by God from the oppression of Egypt. Did it get better from there? Unfortunately, they still had problems. There wasn’t enough to drink. They didn’t have food to eat. God solved those problems and took care of the Israelites, but times were still difficult.
When the Bible gets to Numbers 21, the Israelis had already decided that they were too afraid to go to the promised land. God told them that they’d have to wander around in the desert for 40 years, until everyone over the age of 20 (except Caleb and Joshua) died. Even though God was taking care of them, the Israelites complained. Finally, God had enough. He sent fiery serpents to come and bite them and kill them.
Through all this, God offered a way out. Moses was to put a bronze serpent up on a pole, and to live, all you had to do was look at the serpent.
I imagine that we are entering times that are similar to the days after the Pharaoh that knew Joseph died. The Israelites were at one time honored guests in Egypt. Life would have been good. Over time, the Egyptians forgot about the good things that Joseph did, and the Israelites were slowly put under bondage. America seems to be headed in that direction.
No matter what happens, we need to look to the Lord. We need to look to the Lord to be rescued. Whether we are rescued or not, tough times will be coming. We need to continue to look to the Lord. We need to avoid complaining, which could make God angry. We have lived through some of the best times the world has ever seen. How many people in human history have had the problems that we have? For so much of history, man has had too little… nowadays, we have too much food and too much stuff! We are blessed to have these problems.
No matter what happens, we need to look to God to help us, whether times are good, or whether they are bad.