Moses and the Bronze Snake on a Pole
Moses and the Bronze Snake
Snakes at the camp
In the book of Numbers, Israelites turn their backs on God and Moses and began to complain about their circumstances despite the fact that God had led them in various victories and provided for them. Within a very short period of time, they had forgotten everything that God had done for them and thus boldly and loudly spoke against God and his servant Moses who had been with them throughout their Journey. Because of the hardness of their hearts and the fact that they chose to complain, argue and make demands rather than simply go back to God and make ask for what they needed (Food, water etc), God sent snakes into their camps which began to bite and consequently killing some of them.
When the people saw what was happening, they realized their sin, (turning against God who had always been with them), and asked Moses to speak on their behalf so that God would save them from the snakes and thus from their worsened circumstances. Like before, God listened to Moses and chose to end their suffering. To save them, God instructed Moses to make a Bronze snake and mount it on a pole up high. Everyone who looked up to the Bronze snake would be saved whether they were bitten by snakes or not. This was an act of forgiveness, which showed that God would always come and help his people if they came to him with a humble heart and make their requests known to him.
This is an important story that has a lot to teach Christians today. In a world of advancing technology, a wide range and diversity of entertainment, drugs and beliefs etc, there is so much to distract Christians from God. With all these things surrounding us, we are likely to start pursuing them in every way imaginable to try and get some excitement into our lives. This is more so for young people who feel the need to fill their lives with something exiting each and every day. For a few of those who try to avoid all these things (the extreme of these things including drugs, adult films, sexual immorality etc)they are often made fun of for not being cool or acting as they are better than others, which drives some to give in and give it a try. The problem with this is that it causes many of us to forget God, his goodness and what he has done for us in the past.
Once we delve too deep into all these temptations surrounding us, we find ourselves in situations that we may not have seen coming. These may include addictions of various kinds, poor health, stress and depression and even loss of life in extreme cases. In such situations, some people will point their blame to God for having allowed such bad things to happen to them. We will often argue that God cannot be good given that he allowed such and such to happen or even make up our minds that God simply does not exist since he did not prevent certain evils from happening. In all these, we forget the goodness that God had shown us in the beginning and the fact that it is us who walked away from God and not the vice versa. It is during such cases that we are reminded to look up towards the Bronze snake; only in this case it is Jesus who is on the pole: The Messiah who gave up his life for our sins.
It is simply unfair to blame God when we are “bitten by snakes” that surround us. Whatever we fill our lives will ultimately give fruits. This is true with such things as alcohol, drugs, fornication, adultery or pride and lies among others. Truly, these are not of God and their end will not have good fruits. However, by looking up and keeping our eyes on the pole (the light that is Jesus) we will only be filled with the goodness that comes from above. Goodness, rather than darkness will fill our hearts and our lives and the fruits of such a life are clearly evident with true Christians. These will include kindness towards others, a humble heart, patience and the willingness to listen and guide others, being truthful and not spreading lies among others. Whatever comes out of one’s mouth or ones actions is evidence of what fills their hearts.
I feel that this is what God wants us to understand when we read about the serpent on the Bronze and go through the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross. There are many things around us that seek to distract and lead us away from the light and they will always be around us in future. The world has changed and will continue to change. For this reason, it is important for true Christians to stand firm on the rock so that they are not blown off by the strong winds that come every direction. Jesus is the light, and keeping our eyes on Him will only allow that light to live within us. Turning our eyes will only fill us with all the things that are in the world. The choice, however, is ours.
© 2018 Patrick