The Bronze Snake

  • Numbers 21:1-22:20
  • Luke 1:26-56
  • Psalm 57: 1-11
  • Proverbs 11:9-11

But the people grew impatient on the way; 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!

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

Numbers 21:4-6

I am exploring the idea of writing a book and my idea is to go through my journals and gather material from them. So last night, I was going through a journal from 1995….I received God into my life when I was 28 years old. That would have been 1992….so in 1995 I had been following Christ for 3 years. I consider myself a baby Christian back in those days. I would have been 31 years old in 1995.

One particular journal entry was a couple pages long and apparently Jeff and I were really struggling because we had begun seeing Frank, a Christian Counselor that God sent to our lives when we needed him most. I was journaling about talking to a family member about the advice I received from her. This is a portion of that entry:

.…she said for instance about if I just took Jeff a “drink” and then he brought me one, then me, then him, etc we could just talk and all of our problems would be solved. That is my, no OUR past. But what do you end up with. A big old house made of cow shit!!

Journal entry 1995

My eyes were starting to be opened to the fact that the way I was raised had brought venomous snakes within my household and was trying to destroy our marriage. And it would have. My family was filled with the venomous snakes of addiction, and the only coping mechanism I had were these same vipers and they had been killing me and were starting to kill my marriage and family.

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.

Numbers 21:7

Jeff is my Moses. Jeff grew up in a Catholic Christian home and he taught me to pray and seek God’s face. I am who I am because my husband prays for me.

Jeff will tell you that he is who he is because I pray for him. I pray that God would continue to draw him to a closer relationship with God.

Frank was our Moses in marriage.

Jeff and I married late in life and were determined to make it last a lifetime. I had no intention of putting ourselves or our kids through the trauma of a divorce. The caveat here is that Jeff not I are abusive and have been faithful in our marriage, which according to scripture are the only reasons that God gives for divorce. But that doesn’t mean it was always easy. We chose to seek out the help of a Christian counselor a couple of times. We also had a community of believers in Marriage Encounter that guided us through the rough spots.

A community of Christ followers is crucial in life. I’m praying for each person who reads my blog that God would guide you to a community of believers who pray for you and point you to Christ.

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.” 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.

Numbers 21: 8-9

I have had to look at many-a-bronze snake in my lifetime. Food, drugs, alcohol, sex, those are all the snakes that have been in my deck of mind numbing activities. I’m very grateful to have been saved from these venomous activities. What are yours?

Notice that each person had to look at the snake themselves. They couldn’t look at the snake in behalf of another person. Each person had to recognize that they had been bitten and go themselves to look at the bronze snake. They had to face it, look at it, see it for what it was. Own that it belonged to them and only THEN could they live.

The serpent will come upon us when we complain and grow impatient. When we speak against God and against our people, these snakes can creep in to our relationships and our lives and destroy it. Each and every day we are given a new opportunity to find the good, and honestly some days that may be exhausting and hard to come up with. But complaining and grumbling……well, it’ll just call in the snakes and cause us to get bitten by bitterness.

Lord, I thank you for this story of redemption and hope. Help me remember this story in times of trouble. I pray for the person reading this right now, that if there are any venomous snakes in their life, that you would send them a Moses. Let me be their Moses right now, I pray that they would look up at the Cross and see that Jesus is the way out of their hopelessness. You, Lord are the Way the Truth and the Life.

How can I be praying for you today?

What venomous snakes are you needing healing from?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Bronze Snake

  1. lisaburtonattnet

    Very good one.

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