289. Look and live.
'The Lord said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it on a pole, anyone who is bitten can LOOK at it AND LIVE."'*- (Numbers 21:8) The hardships the Israelites faced along the way caused them to grumble and the consequences as a result of it, made their journey even more miserable. Had they rejoiced along the way, their hardships would have been more bearable! That's why Scripture exhorts us to *'consider it pure joy, whenever we face trials of many kinds'* - (James 1:2) However, all it took for them to get right with God was just faith to look and live! Indeed, faith is all it takes to live and not die in our sins! *'Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.'* - (John 3:15) Just as that which caused death in the camp had to be lifted up from their midst, for all to see and receive salvation and healing, even so, sin which caused death in the world (Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:56) had to be lifted up from our midst, for us to believe and receive salvation and healing. But unlike the snake, which is symbolic of sin and curse,*'God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him might become the righteousness of God.'* - (2 Corinthians 5:21) Everyone who looks to him will live and not die! We too might find our Christian journey too long drawn and treacherous but we should set our sights on him, when the going gets tough! The tough gets going because, *'those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.'* - ( Psalm 34:5) Amen.
*PS:* The journey from Egypt to the promised land should not have taken 40 years, but alas, for their disobedience! Interestingly, *'when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter for God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red sea.'* - (Exodus 13:17-18) The longer and treacherous the route, the more abundant and astounding the miracles they witnessed along the way! In the third month they came to the Desert of Sinai and camped there in front of Mount Horeb (Exodus 19:1-2), from where they left on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year (Numbers 10:11) for Kadesh Barnea, on the southern border of Cannan, just a eleven day journey (Deuteronomy 1:2), but only to be sent back to the desert along the route to the Red sea (Numbers 14:25) because of their rebellion and there they wandered for 40 years untill the last of their bodies fell ( vs 33-34). On the fortieth year of first day of the eleventh month ( Deuteronomy 1:3) they returned to Kadesh Barnea but the king of Edom would not allow them to pass through (Numbers 20:20-22, Deuteronomy 2:8). So they traveled back to Mount Hor along the route to the Red sea, to go around Edom, but the people grew impatient on the way and they grumbled against God and were bitten by venomous snakes. - (Numbers 21:4-6) *'We should not test the Lord, as some of them did - and were killed by snakes ... These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.'* - ( 1 Corinthians 10: 9-11) Amen.