Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sort of Interesting -- Nm 21

The OT reading for the upcoming Sunday is Numbers 21.4-9 (naturally linked with John 3.14-21).

I just noticed the difference between what the people asked for, and what God provided. To wit, the people asked:

"We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us" (Nm 21.7, emphasis added).

Here's how God responded: "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live" (v. 8, emphasis added).

So the peopled asked God to take the snakes away from them, God responded by continuing to allow the snakes to bite the people, but preserving those bitten from death.

I would guess that the serpents would be most likely to strike at the heel of Israel, as God told the serpent in Gen 3.15. I presume that a snake bite would bruise a person's heel. Nonetheless, the bite of the serpents in Numbers 21 would no longer kill.

So, too, today, we are all bruised by sin. In this life, at least, we experience the pain of the serpent's bite. We do live, however. And in the Age to Come, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes" (Rev 21.4).


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