When we left the children of Israel, they were at Mount Hor. Both Miriam and Aaron, Moses sister and brother that had been with him since they left Egypt, have died. Most of the people over 21 that had come out of Egypt have also died. And Moses has been told by the LORD that he would not be going into the Promised Land either; because he had struck the rock with his rod in anger instead of just speaking to it, as God had commanded him!
Now they are leaving their camp once more and traveling again; this time on the long route around the Red Sea! I hope you are interested in their final days of traveling and how God was with them in fighting battles to conquer the land He had promised. It helps explain why they are traveling on such an “out of way” trail.
I am not going into the conquests; but choose instead to look at at what I consider some important and interesting occasions that apply to our lives, too!
I find the first occasion as they become irritated and start complaining again! The same old story! “We should never have left Egypt! ” “We are going to die here in the wilderness! ” “We are so tired of the this manna!” Have you ever found yourself complaining about everything? I think we are given a choice! We can either complain about everything or look for the positive side of everything! It’s more pleasant for you and everyone around you if you try to look for the positive side!
My favorite verse for this is: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 HCSB) You do have a choice and the Israelites had a choice; but they chose to complain again!
When the LORD heard His children complaining again, (He had just brought them victory over the Canaanites); He sent poisonous snakes into their camp. Whenever a poisonous snake would bite them, they would die. They realized they had sinned against God and confessed to Moses and asked him to intercede for them!
God heard! “And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” (Numbers 21:8-9 NKJV)
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “ (John3:14-16NKJV)
Praise Him LORD of all!!!
[How about a little assignment to work on over the weekend!? As I have been reading the book of Numbers, I noticed that I read so many times: “The Lord said to Moses” Just for fun, count how many times you find that phrase in Numbers. Doesn’t have to match exactly, but has the same meaning! Good hunting!]