Based on Biblical Text: Numbers 21:8:
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. .
John 3:14: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
I guess the first thing we need to consider is what it is like to be bitten by a snake. Many of us have not had that unfortunate experience. However, those that have tell us that it is a painful experience. I am told that even if the snake is not poisonous, his teeth are so full of bacteria that we are certain to get sick from the bite.
The truth of the matter is, many of us don’t even consider the dangers of snakebite until it happens. Think about it, we often work in dangerous territory without a weapon for defense. It is not until the snake bites that we are concerned about a cure. At that point we are frantic!
The text occurs during a time when Moses dealt with snakes while trying to find safe passage from the Red Sea to the Promised Land. The journey was so tough that folk started complaining. Mind you, these were the same people who a short time ago had witnessed God parting the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh’s army. The same people, I might add, who had been in bondage for over 400 years before being set free.
The people got tired and began complaining. The Lord, tired of their mumbling and complaining, sent fiery poisonous serpents into their camp to bite them. They did not have an antidote or cure for snakebite so many died. Moses petitioned God for mercy and He gave him the cure. “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.” It proved to be the perfect cure as those who looked at the fiery serpent on a stick did not die.
This writing speaks to those who have been so dissatisfied with their situation that they have become a complainer. Warning, complaining is, for the most part, futile. The truth of the matter is that eighty percent of the people we complain to don’t care about our situation anyway, and the other twenty percent feel that somehow we deserve what is happening to us!
Complaining can be dangerous, but complaining to God can be fatal. Do we dare complain to the One who provides the very air that we breathe, or the water that we drink? Imagine for a moment what would happen if God withdrew His divine protection from us and left us to the consequences of our own vices. Yes, we shudder to think of the consequences yet, we bite the hand that feeds us. We complain that we are not getting enough, and then we wonder why we suffer so many snake bites.
Please understand that Satan is a snake, and he bites. When God lifts His divine protection from us, Satan bites. Job is a great example. When God lifted the hedge of protection from around him Satan bit, but when God put the hedge back, God blessed. This lesson clearly warns that the Snake, Satan, is a formidable enemy. His venom is powerful and poisonous. And if we are not careful, he will bite us when we are not paying attention.
Complaining to God is dangerous, because He has the power to lift His protection from us. Satan is a formidable enemy, and not to be played with. We should learn from this text that it is wise to carry our snakebite cure with us.
The truth of the matter is we fool around with Satan as if he has no teeth. Some of us seem to be daring Satan to bite us. Warning, Satan does have teeth! If Satan gets his teeth into us it would behoove us to have our cure close at hand. Some may be asking, what is that cure? Well, for Moses and the Israelites, it was the image of a fiery serpent on a stick. However, for those of us who know the Lord in the pardon of our sins, we have Jesus and the cross, high and lifted up. We may have been bitten, but thank God we are still living, because Jesus is our cure for all of Satan’s snakebites.
The Word of God says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” We do not have to fear because we have the cure for whatever Satan threatens to bring our way. And that cure is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”