Thursday, April 7, 2011

Snakes on a Plain

Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with Samuel L. Jackson. Also, I'm not very confident in my ability to express these kinds of thoughts... so... here goes.

I was reading the story of "The Brazen Serpent" yesterday. (Num. 21) The story starts off with the people traveling from Mount Hor to the land of Edom by way of the Red Sea. It sounds like the people were taking the scenic route in their travels, as they so often did. However, what really got to me is the next sentence. It says, "The soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."

I was tempted to stop reading because i felt that i already had enough to think about for the day. However, i continued through the familiar story. Moses makes a snake and puts it on a stick and people are healed from their snake bites when they look at it. Take that modern medicine. I feel like the story of the Children of Israel is pretty formulaic. First, they don't get it and start complaining. Second, God removes his protection. Third, they beg for someone to "fix it." Fixing things is also a three step formula... ask Tommy. He gets it.

After the story, i started looking at the notes in my Bible. They say that God told Moses to use a brass snake because of its simplicity. It was obvious that a snake made of brass could not heal people. Because of this, some people "would not believe that simply looking at the snake would heal them." The notes go on to say that, "In His wisdom, He chose this way of displaying His power." By this they were required to show their faith in the "provision he had made." The Lord taught them that their sacrifices, in themselves, had no more power or virtue than the serpent of brass, but were, like that, to lead their minds to Christ, the great sin offering."

"If we are conscious of our needs, we should not devote all our powers to mourning over them. We are not to yield to discouragement, but to trust in the merits of a crucified and risen savior. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He only gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith. It is our duty first to look."

I don't know how I'm supposed to help. Or what choices I'm supposed to make. Or what the plan is. Sometimes I feel discouraged because of the way. I need to look.


  1. David, thanks for posting this! I enjoy reading about what in scripture inspires us...