Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 190 When a snake cure turns to a snare

Numbers 21:4-10 Impatience, ingratitude and plain whinning resulted in God sending venomous snakes among them. I often wondered why God sent snakes of all things and then poisonous ones at that. It could be that the snakes are a true representation of the damage done to their souls when we whin and complain to God. Do you remember the incessant "but why?" when your children were three years old? I remember Conor very clearly, it drove me insane. Thankfully he has grown and asks those questions to people who have answers!

Back to is the story

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"

Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

From Moses, through the period of the judges, through Saul's, David's, Solomon's reign now we are nearing the end of the kingdom with Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah begins to reign.

2 kings 18:3-4 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

What was set up to be the cure in Moses time, would not be a safeguard for future complaints and impatience against the Lord. The people who burned insense to the bronze snake wasted their time. What a heartbreak if they realized that the sacrifices they made in order to buy the insense, and the time involved praying to the bronze statue to adher to an old custom was worthless in God's sight. The heart break really is that they did not know.

I found that its usually easier to do something, however ineffectual, than changing ones behaviour, seeking out real answers to life's problems or being plain obedient to God Word. In Gods book, obedience is better than sacrifice!


  1. That is a good point you make that the bronze snake could not rescue them later. It always amazed me that people began to worship the snake. The modern version of that would be our insistance that God always moves the same way and building doctrine on our experiences rather than God's specific direction in his word.

    Shirley Fay

  2. Amazing word, glad to see how how God's word comes alive.