The Bronze Snake

Wendy Blight

Day: 21 | Plan: Numbers

Today's Reading: Numbers 21

Numbers 21:8 (NIV) “ The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’”

What do a snake and a stick have to do with healing? We find the answer in the midst of the wilderness thousands of years ago.

As Numbers 21 opens, we find God’s people again growing impatient and ungrateful, whining and complaining, especially about their long march around Edom and the lack of good food and water. They wanted more. They wanted variety. Despite all God had done … freeing them from slavery, performing miracles to save and protect them, repeatedly forgiving their sin and rebellion … it never seemed to be enough!

This time, God had enough. He sent venomous snakes into their midst. When bitten by the snakes, the people died a slow and painful death. Such snakes, though common in the wilderness, had never bothered them before. But now, God withheld His protective hand, and the snakes invaded the camp.

As family members, neighbors and friends lie dying around them, God’s people repented. They begged Moses to ask God to remove the snakes. Moses, full of grace and forgiveness, interceded on their behalf.

However, God didn’t immediately heal those who had been bitten. Healing required an act of faith. God instructed Moses to make a bronze representation of the snake, place it on a pole and raise it up for all to see. Healing came only if the sick looked up at the snake on the pole.

I find it fascinating the object of healing, the snake, was shaped in the likeness of that which poisoned.

For us, God shaped a new remedy. Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “God made [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Just as Moses raised up the bronze snake to be the antidote to the deathly effects of their snakebites, so God raised up Jesus on the cross to be the antidote to the deathly effects of our sin. (John 3:14)

Our faith in Jesus heals us because every person who looks to Jesus and trusts in Him will be saved from sin and death!

Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your Son to take on my sin, to suffer pain, humiliation and rejection for me. I know sometimes my actions grieve Your heart. Forgive me for not living in the fullness of the gift of salvation You have so graciously given. Fill me with a grateful heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Seven hundred years later, we encounter the bronze snake again in 2 Kings 18 during the reign of... Read More

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