In the Bible the children of Israel were in Egypt, working as slaves for Pharaoh. Moses asked Pharaoh to let God’s people go into the wilderness to worship the Lord, but he refused. God sent the 10 plagues and after 9 plagues, Pharaoh STILL didn’t let God’s people go. But the last and worst plague was yet to come – the death of the firstborn. Everyone was warned that if they didn’t put a perfect lamb’s blood on their door, when the death angel passed over their house the firstborn child in that family would die. When Pharaoh’s child was killed, he pleaded for the Israelite’s to leave. God sent the plagues, to free His people from slavery. The people rejoiced and praised God. A while after God sent the Israelite’s manna, like light bread, from heaven to eat.
In Numbers 21 verses 5 – 9 we read these exact words –
5. And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us out of Egypt to die in he wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that He take away he serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass , that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
The people had forgotten what God had done for them in bringing them out of Egypt, and complained to God and Moses. God blessed them with the bread that the angels ate – manna, and yet they said they loathed it. Don’t like is one thing, but then hate is another, but even worse loath!
Everybody has to be punished and put right. God loved His people, so he had to chastise them. He sent snakes, poisonous serpents, to bite the people, and lots died.
As God wanted them to, the people repented and confessed their sins, and the Lord was faithful and just to forgive them. They pleaded that Moses would pray to the Lord, and he did, but God doesn’t always just vanish away the trouble as soon as somebody repents – sometimes He just give us a way to wriggle out of it.
So God gave His people a way to be saved from the snakes. He commanded Moses to make a brass serpent and set it on a pole so that anyone, anywhere in the camp could look at it. He obeyed and did what God asked. Anyone that looked up at the snake after a bite would be saved from death. Some did and looked at the brass serpent but some didn’t believe and thought it silly. Of course the mockers died, while the believers lived.
Would you have looked at the serpent? Maybe so – It was such a simple task.
Jesus died for us. He was hanged on a cross, so that everyone could look unto Him and live. Only some won’t look at Him. Some won’t believe that he died for our sins and be saved, but those that WON’T trust, WILL die. When the mockers die, they will be cast into everlasting fire. It is a simple task, just like looking at the snake – easy!
Are you going to look to the Saviour? Are you going to look at the snake? Are you going to look at the sufferer? Are you going to do the simple task of asking Christ into your heart?
This is a hymn I love –
I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give;
‘Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you look and live.
Look and live, my brother live,
Look to Jesus now and live;
‘Tis recorded in is word, hallelujah!
It is only that you look and live.
Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life your soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.
You can read it for yourself in Numbers 21 vs 5-9
The BIG question – Will you look, by faith, unto Him and live?