Saturday, June 28, 2014

Numbers 21

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 21. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Several times in this chapter (for instance, verses 1-3 and 21-26) we see that the Israelites are seeking to travel peacefully, but are forced into battles by other nations.
  • The Israelites again complain bitterly against Moses and about what God is providing for them. In response, God sends venomous snakes. The people respond with a recognition of their sin and repentance and Moses prays for them. God responds by having Moses make a frozen snake on a pole, and telling the people to look at it to preserve their lives.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Sometimes in the Old Testament, God did things to prepare people for the future coming of Jesus, and to help them understand who Jesus was and what He would do for them. This incident with the snake is one such incident. Jesus said, in John 3:14-16, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
  • He said in John 12:30-33, "'The voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the price of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.' He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Just like the Israelites, we have sinned and our condition is terminal. And just like with the Israelites, God has put something on a pole for us to look to for life. What we look to is not a bronze snake, but a crucified Savior. Have you looked to Jesus for life? If not, why not? And when will you? And, if you have, what are you doing to help others look to Jesus?