It is almost laughable. God had literally just delivered the Israelites from the hands of the Canaanites. The people were successful in the battle and a message to those who would consider attacking Israel sent. It should have been a time of peace and celebration. Instead, Israel began complaining about God’s protection and provision. “No bread, No water, the food stinks…” God had dealt with the lack of gratefulness in several ways, up to then, this time, He released snakes among those complaining. If bit, the people would die.
Moses, great leader that he was, again interceded on behalf of Israelites. I am sure he and God had quite a talk. In the end, however, God allowed Moses to construct a cure, a snake on a pole. No matter how sick the Israelites were, if they would simply look at the pole, they would be cured. It was clear, God had little tolerance for the ungrateful hearts of His people. Still even in God’s fury, He was willing to forgive and restore His people.
In our lives, we often find ourselves forgetting the great things God has done on our behalf. Our very salvation comes from the greatest sacrifice of God. Still, we soon forget the provision, the protection and the preparation God has provided us. Instead, we tend to complain about the circumstances, the trials and the opportunities God gives us to trust and let Him lead. In the midst of the complaining, God loses patience…really, after all He has done, and we are still not satisfied? The message was clear–be grateful for what you have, not ungrateful for what you think you lack. God knows what we need and provides it. It is rarely timed or packaged in the form we would like, but it is always the right thing, at the right time.
Focus on Him, not on your circumstance–if you will, no matter how far gone you think you are, God can and will forgive and restore you!
God Bless You
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.