Once again the children of Israel had chapped God’s gizzard. Remember that as God tried to lead them to the promised land they called him a murderer and a thief and rejected Him 10 times. God swore in His wrath to destroy every one of them and start all over again with Moses. Moses begged for God’s mercy and forgiveness of His people and the bible says an amazing thing. “And the Lord repented of the evil that was in His heart to do”. (Exodus 32:14)
What really made God mad was that after rejecting Him 10 times, they now threatened to kill Caleb. Caleb was God’s favorite because he had a different spirit. He believed every last word of God’s promises. So, instead of killing the Jews God sentenced them to wander as nomads in the dessert for 40 years until all of the adults who had murmured against Him had died. Then they could enter the promised land.
Fast forward. Here they are wandering in the desert and they start accusing God of Murder and speaking ill of Him. [Editorial Note, even today His people accuse God of being a liar and thief, an arsonist, and murderer. It happens every day in church. They lie and say that God steals things from us to teach us. They say that God allows evil and sickness and bad things. They claim things like God burnt my house down because it was His will to teach me. They say that God takes people/kills them, especially children. God does not steal, kill or destroy!!!!!!! but His people accuse Him of these things every day in their biblical ignorance.] (John 10:10)
“And the people spoke against God and Moses, why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?For there is no bread, neither is there any water,we loathe this light manna. Then the Lord sent fiery burning snakes among the people; and they bit the people and many Israelites died. And the people came to Moses, and said we have sinned against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He may take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people”.
“And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent of bronze and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it , shall live. And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze with a steady and absorbing gaze, he lived.” (Numbers 21: 5-9)
The bronze serpent was a type of Jesus. By focusing on the serpent, men were saved. The bronze serpent was a symbol of God’s forgiveness for those who apologized sincerely and turned back to Him.
Enter Jesus: Who declared the following:
“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up (on the cross) In order that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life and live forever! For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world in order to judge to reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:14-17)
“And If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)
When Jesus came into the world God declared peace on earth, just as men declare war, He declared His peace with all men. “And on earth, PEACE, GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN! (Luke 2:14)
God no longer punishes us. If we are punished, it is by our own hearts and the consequences of our actions. Now when God corrects His children He does it with His Word. (2Timothy 3:16)
Unlike the Children of Israel, we no longer have to pray for forgiveness, God has forgiven us once for all of all sins; past, present and future when He lifted up Jesus. (Hebrews 10:10)
As the old Baptist hymn goes, “Cast Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Look Straight In His Glorious Face; and the cares of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”. Oh yeah, watch what you say about God!!!! Be careful what you accuse Him of!!! He is listening and His feelings can be hurt by false accusations.
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Pastor Allen Fleming
Throne of Grace
Marietta, Georgia 30066