From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.
Food For Thought:
I am not particularly fond of this passage of Scripture because the Israelites disobey, and God sends snakes to strike them down to death. I have never been a fan of this is a vengeful view of God. The God that I worship is a God of love, a God of forgiveness, a God of second chances, a God of grace—not a God that strikes you down dead when you disobey. Think about your view of God. How do you see God at work in your life? What things would you add to the list describing the God you worship?
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the many instances where you have extended love and forgiveness to us. We know that you are a God of love and grace and that your love is unending. No matter how many times we may turn away, we know that your love and grace is there to greet us and lead us on the path to a better way. We are thankful for your presence in our lives. In your precious name we pray, Amen.