Read Numbers 21:1
The key to failures as well as to blessings and victories abounds in these verses, as the refugees finally near their destination. A wise donkey speaks to save a foolish prophet (Num. 22:28).
And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread (Num. 21:4-5).
The full meaning of much discouraged is that the people were impatient. And when people become impatient, everything seems to go wrong.
The Israelites finally exposed their real feelings concerning the provisions of God. Our soul loatheth this light bread. Their discontent proved that they did not clearly perceive the purpose of God for bringing them out of Egypt.
Because of their unbelief, the Lord's marvelous protection from the desert dangers was withdrawn, and thousands of people were bitten by poisonous snakes and died. Until this time, there is no record of anyone being bitten by a serpent (Deut. 8:15). Just as the bite from a reptile was deadly, so their unbelief would lead to spiritual death. Again, they realized their need for the Lord and His protection.
Because of Moses' intercessory prayer, God prepared a means of salvation for His people. God instructed Moses to make a brazen serpent and display it on a high pole. Although the dying Israelites may not have deserved to be healed, all who believed in the promise of the Word of God and beheld the serpent of brass were healed (Num. 21:9).
All mankind has been poisoned by that old serpent, called the Devil (Rev. 12:9), who perpetually torments his victims. And sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15).
God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3; II Cor. 5:21). Sin brought eternal death, but all who will believe the Word of God and accept Christ as Savior will have eternal life.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15).
Thought for Today:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15).
By Moses who prayed for God to save the people (Num. 21:7). Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house (family, i.e. the Israelites) (Heb. 3:1-2).
21:2 utterly, completely; 21:4 compass, go around; 21:5 soul loatheth, people detest, intense dislike; 21:11 the sunrising, by the eastern border; 21:18 staves, staffs; 21:23 suffer, permit, allow; 21:35 smote, killed, destroy; 22:1 pitched, camped; this side, the eastern side; 22:3 sore, very, utterly; 22:4 lick up, defeat in battle; 22:5 over against me, in front of me; 22:6 smite, defeat; wot, know; 22:7 rewards of divination, fees for telling the future; 22:23 ass, donkey; 22:27 staff, rod; 22:28 smitten, struck; 22:29 would, wish; 22:30 wont to do, failed to serve you; 22:36 utmost, farthest, boundary.
Pray for International Broadcasts: In honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Country: South Korea (46.9 million) in northeastern Asia • Major languages: Korean and English • Religious freedom • 48% Christian; 40% Buddhist; 3% Confucian; 9% Shamanism; Chodogyo, Other • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that the will of God is often different from our own desires (II Cor. 12:8-9).
Optional Reading: Luke 9:1
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:19