Monday, January 26, 2009
The Brazen Serpent
Please read Numbers 21:1-10. In this passage we read an interesting verse. "The souls of the people were greatly discouraged because of the way." Simply put, those who follow the Lord because they know it is right, but don't love the Lord, are going to become weary. Dissatisfaction often leads to rebellion. When our hearts are not satisfied with the Lord they will wander elsewhere. Note three important facts from this passage of Scripture. First, the peoples sin, it was three fold. It was against God Himself. We speak against God when we grumble about His providence. Things like income, health, material things, circumstances. We grumble by refusing to submit to His working in our lives. We grumble when we show more sympathy for the world than for Christ's Kingdom. We grumble when we prefer the satisfaction of the flesh over spiritual growth. We sin when we speak against the servant of God. They spoke against Moses. Those who hate Christ, hate His people. Christ's blessing falls upon us because of our identity with Him, so do his reproaches. We sin when we complain about the provision of God. They didn't like the "Light bread." This refers to the manna the Lord provided for them on a daily basis. Christ is the Bread for the world, however the world despises Him as light bread, only fit for the elderly and children. Many, from a heart of pride, treat Christ as not being sufficient from them, thus they despise the provision of the grace of God. Second, their sorrow. This sorrow works repentance and it is seen in their confession. "We have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord." True sorrow will lead to true confession. The sinner must realize that his sin is against the Lord. King David said "Against you and you alone have I sinned." When we see this fact, confession comes easy and natural. Failure to confess sin, proves that in some way we despise the Lord. This passage of Scriptures says we must repent and then we will make petition unto the Lord. The despised servant now becomes the intercessor. In the evil day they sent for Daniel, because they knew he would pray. Stephen also made intercession for those who stoned him to death. When people are conscious of personal guilt they are aware of the need of a mediator (Note I Timothy 2:5). Third, their salvation was divinely appointed. The Lord said "Make a serpent." This could not have been suggested by man. We have too much man made religion. For man to try to save himself is like a condemned criminal inventing a plan that would set aside the law and justify himself. Those bitten by a serpent are healed through another form of serpent. The plan is Divinely suitable. The brass serpent is set upon a pole so everyone that looks will live. The serpent was raised up for everyone that had been bitten. This brass object was placed within reach of all. The same eyes that could see the tents and hills could see the serpent (note Isaiah 45:22). For us, Christ has been lifted up high above all others, as the Savior of all. The serpent was Divinely effectual, there was no healing power in the serpent. Anyone, who looked, lived. It didn't matter how many serpents had bitten him, or how rich or poor he was, the promise was the same. He was to look and live. Today the time is short and the situation is desperate. Christ is coming and souls are dying. Don't delay in telling others about Christ. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.