So you're walking along complaining about the lack of what you call "good food" and lack of water. You are sick of the food you've been eating that God supplied. In mid-conversation your friend screams and drops to the ground yelling in pain. You see a snake slithering back in the the tall grass and you watch your friend die. That sounds wonderful doesn't it? This is obviously a made up story expanding on the above scripture.
So they ask Moses to intercede for them to the Lord. They want the serpents removed. What we see here is a classic case of repentance. The only problem is they don't understand, like many people today, that the guilt of a sin can and will be removed upon repentance and obedience, but the consequences remain. A person addicted to drugs may repent and obey the Gospel. They are no doubt forgiven for that sin and the guilt is removed, but health issues will remain due to the consequences of drug abuse! This applies here as well. They were guilty of speaking out against the Lord and Moses. They were complaining about God's provision and felt like they had more in the world than they did under God's care. The consequence of that sin venomous snakes and death. Sin in our lives gets us the same thing today! Rom 6:23
The Lord provided a way for all His people to be saved. He has Moses put a serpent on a standard. The word standard literally means ensign; signal; sign. It comes from the root word that means to be high. So God basically says make a snake on a high sign. If the people look upon it they will be saved from the snakes around them. Notice the snake bites, or the consequence of the sin, didn't go away. Provision of healing is provided and that is all that is needed the rest is on the shoulders of the people.
He has done the same for us today. We all have sinned. Rom 3:23 Satan tries to tell us God is not providing for us as well as he should. We could have a lot more in the world, with our own rules, and making our own way. Hey, it worked with Eve too! God provided a way for us to be saved as well, in Jesus. He has been lifted up as sign too. Jn 3:14,15 God is still providing salvation for those who choose to obey. I'm not saying that only certain people are chosen by God for salvation. The Bible doesn't say that. Jn 3:16; 1Ti 2:3,4; 2Pe 3:9 I'm simply :saying only certain people will choose God's salvation. Mt 7:13,14
What we see in this text is man's enemy, that old serpent (Rev 12:9), deceiving people and causing sin and death. A unique remedy for the sin and death is provided by God upon man's obedience to His commands. I mean a serpent lifted up, really? I will be saved if I just focus on that? YES! A man dies on a cross, really? Being dunked in a pool of water washes away sins, really? YES! That lifting up of the serpent foretold of Christ being lifted up on Calvary. Just like the bronze serpent lifted up was made in the likeness of the other serpents, Jesus, who was lifted up on Calvary, was made like us. Heb 2:14,15
God has provided a unique way for man to be saved today and it all starts by focusing on the man that was lifted up on that cross, Jesus Christ. The snakes are still biting but we must focus on Christ and we will be healed and saved from those snakes. Today, I ask you what snakes are biting you and trying to keep you from focusing on God's saving power? Focus on Jesus today, put Him and His Word first in your life.
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Hear The Word- Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We Must Believe or Have Faith- Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We Must Repent- Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We Must Confess Christ Before Others- Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)- 1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We Must Remain Faithful- Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22