FIRST Thoughts

In reading the book of Exodus of late in our discipleship group material, one of the things that always amazes me is how God provided for Moses through some incredibly challenging years. God led Moses in leading an estimated two million people for forty years on their journey to the land God had promised. That is a miracle of ministry management by any standard of measure.

There were many challenges along the way for everyone, including Moses. God would provide for them miraculously as promised and it would only be a matter of days in some cases when the heart of the people would grow discontented again. There was not enough food on some occasions and not enough of the right kind of food on others. There were times when the water that was available turned out to be bitter. Things didn't move quickly enough for most and when the opportunity came to experience God's best, the overwhelming majority declined the offer and sealed their fate in the process.

On one of the more familiar occasions, God delivered Israel miraculously through the Red Sea on dry ground and in a matter of hours Israel is disgruntled with their current circumstances. As one pastor put it, 'they didn't like what they were being fed and they didn't like how they were being led.'

In response, deadly serpents came into the camp, and many felt 'the sting' of death. The sin of unbelief had caused death to come into the camp. In the meantime, God gave Moses the solution. Moses was directed by God to fashion a bronze image in the form of what was killing them (a serpent). The people were given one command; 'If you look at the bronze serpent, you will live."

Sounds simple. Yet, some refused to look by faith according to God's Word and experience life that overcomes death. Each one that made that choice died.

The same is true today in matters of sin and salvation. It's not complicated. Sin is still just as lethal, and the solution remains just as simple. The consequences of sin continue to affect the camp of humanity today destroying people's lives in the process. And the solution remains just as miraculous. 'Look and live'.

I want you to notice that God didn't remove the serpents from the camp. Instead, He placed the likeness of what was killing them in the midst of the people. Moses placed the bronze serpent on a pole and gave them the choice to live or die. God didn't eradicate the serpents any more than He eradicates sin today. He could have but He didn't. He still doesn't. God commands that we look by faith and then live by faith.

God does for us what Moses did for Israel (John 3:14). God permitted His one and only Son to be placed on a cross. When Jesus was lifted up between heaven and earth for the world to see, God made Jesus to be sin, who knew no sin on our behalf in order that we who were 'bitten' and perishing might be saved from certain death (Romans 6:23).

There were not a lot of solutions given that day. There are not many available today either. There is only one. And every man, woman, boy and girl must look by faith if they hope to escape the disastrous effects of being 'snake bit'.

The message of salvation from sin can be life-altering. If you 'look' to Jesus by faith, He will provide for you a miraculous future. God has promised it. Jesus has provided it and the Holy Spirit is the proof.

Blessings of grace and goodness from a miracle working God,

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1