Monday, September 18, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Numbers 21-24
The historical context of today’s scripture reading, Numbers 21-24, finds Israel near the end her 40-year sojourn in the wilderness after she left Egypt. The generation that departed Egypt and refused to trust the LORD to enter Canaan and possess it had perished. Miriam, Moses’ sister, died in the opening verse of Numbers 20 (20:1) and Aaron, his brother and the high priest of Israel, died in the closing verses of Numbers 20 (20:28).
The final six months of Israel’s 40 years wandering in the wilderness is the setting of Numbers 21 where we find Israel murmuring against Moses and the LORD (21:4-5). Like their parents who had perished in the desert, this new generation followed the sinful, faithless pattern of their fathers and mothers, became discouraged and accused God and Moses of leading them “out of Egypt to die in the wilderness” (21:5).
The LORD answered their murmuring with “fiery [poisonous] serpents” and “much of the people of Israel died” (21:6). Chastened by the LORD, the people confessed their sin and asked Moses to intercede and pray the LORD would “take away the serpents” (20:7).
God answered Moses’ prayer and provided a way of salvation, instructing His servant to fashion a serpent of brass and suspend it in the air above the people (21:8). The LORD promised, if the people looked upon the brass serpent they would live (21:9). It was that same symbol Jesus referred to when He foretold His own sacrificial death on the cross when He said:
John 3:14-16 – “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus Christ] should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
My friend, as the brass serpent suspended on a pole was the object God provided for Israel to look to and be spared death, Jesus Christ is the answer for the curse of sin of all sinners.
The invitation to Israel is the invitation to all…Look to the Cross…See with eyes of faith Jesus Christ crucified for your sin…and Live.
1 John 5:11-13 – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
LOOK and LIVE!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith