We have to see the Israelites’ spiritual state as a reflection of our own. God had delivered them from physical and spiritual slavery, which was reason enough for the Israelites to give God eternal thanks, yet they were filled with complaint the moment they came across the smallest problem. Reflect upon your spiritual state, what do we cling to? The transient physical things of the world or the eternal spiritual things of God. The Israelites have no immediate source of food and water and they immediately turn to God in resentment, because of their disbelief. We have no time to waste, so let’s open our eyes to what deceives us.
1.Things that Deceive us
In the scripture reading, verse 4 shows us that our surroundings and emotions deceive us and verse 5 shows us lack of food and water, as well as people, deceive us. People are so reliant on people and inevitably are disappointed. Instead, let’s rely on God. Satan manipulates the culture to reflect Christ as so small and ourselves as so big. We need to see with our own eyes the greatest problem: people are straying further and further from God. All they need is Jesus Christ and we have that answer within us.
2. Israel Lost the Blessing of Salvation
The Israelites were deceived because they lost the blessing of salvation. Without the blessing of salvation, we lose the reason for our living. People work themselves to the ground, but what are they living for? We need to look carefully at ourselves and the reason why we live. Let’s open our eyes and see how amazing it is that we were blessed to know and meet Jesus Christ.
The Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years because it was within God’s greater plan of changing their incorrect imprints, root and nature. Although it may seem like they are going through an unnecessarily long period of suffering, we see the amazing works God does through the Israelites afterwards. God had given the Israelites everything they needed to conquer everything, providing mana, quail and water, but the Israelites were lost in their disbelief and complaint. Let’s cast away our complaint, disbelief and doubt and realize that there is a direction that God is moving us towards.
The Israelites were given the fiery snake to turn to, and be reminded of the greatest deceiver, the Devil. He knows our most vulnerable weaknesses, and uses them to attack us, to take away God’s word from you. When we realize his strategy, we need to fight back.
3. The Bronze Snake
When the Israelites are bitten by snakes in the wilderness, they use every human effort to save themselves but they all die. Instead, God gives them the Bronze Snake and instructs them that to save themselves, all they need to do is look at it. This Bronze snake symbolizes Christ. Most of us only look to Christ when we come across a problem but we need to look to Christ 24 hours of the day. God will then fill us with his Holy Spirit and the forces of darkness will be broken around us. We experience complete peace and contentment. How can we look to Christ 24 hours a day? Through a daily system through which we can cleanse our thoughts of the things that distract us from Christ. It’s as simple as having a copy of your Sunday pulpit prayer on your phone for that week and reading it everyday.
Renewal. We need to renew ourselves in Christ. Challenge yourself and make a personal system to look to Christ. Pray so that you won’t be deceived by Satan and you can look to Christ 24 hours a day.