After wandering in the desert for 40 years, what would you complain about? Maybe it would be that your parents decided to go against God’s plan of conquest? Maybe it would be the blisters or all the sand that would be in your tent. Would you have realized that the reason you were out there for all that time was to wait for the previous generation to die? That’s it. Miriam is dead. Aaron just died. Moses won’t get to go into the Promised Land, just see it from a distance.
For all the problems that God’s people had faced, their time in the wilderness was up. They are walking in. There was a little logistical problem on how to get there. Edom didn’t want them walking through their country, so God’s people went around. It was at that time that they complained. For everything to worry about in a wilderness wandering expedition for 40 years, what difference does a few days or weeks worth of detour make? But this is when the people complained.
God has a creative way of disciplining his people and bringing them to the point where they can see their sin. This time he sends venomous snakes to do the job. When God’s people see the error of their ways, they cry out to God for deliverance. What he offers might seems a little odd. God could tell them to do anything! For this he calls them to take him at his word. Look at a snake on a pole? That is the cure that God offered for the sin of his people.
How does God connect this deliverance to the Promised Messiah? Watch this weeks lesson from our Bible class series on the book of Numbers, Counting on God: Snakes on a Plain.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.