Snakes on a Plain (Part 2)October 12, 2012 at 9:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Tags: effects of sin, Kool-aid, manna, Numbers 21, poison, Romans 3, Romans 6, sin, venom, venomous snakes
Snakes Among the People
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Numbers 21:6 (emphasis added)
These snakes were the result of the people’s sin. The Israelites didn’t want God’s way, and they didn’t want God’s Word.
And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
Numbers 21:4-5 (emphasis added)
They showed their contempt for the manna God provided by calling it “this light bread.” I grew up drinking Kool-Aid. Good old-fashioned green Kool-Aid with lots of sugar in it.
My wife prefers Crystal Light. When she makes Crystal Light I say that “my soul loatheth this light Kool-Aid.” But the fact is, for God’s people in the wilderness, the manna was exactly what they needed – especially for traveling. They were remembering the heavy, spicy food they had gotten used to in Egypt, but were forgetting their bondage. Isn’t that what happens when God’s Word doesn’t suit our taste? When God’s way isn’t comfortable enough? We begin to grumble and complain and dispute – and the snakes of sin are released among the people.
Snakes Among the People: Snakes Produce Poison
These were fiery serpents. They were poisonous. Sin is like a poisonous snake. Everything is fine and fun, until you find one hiding where you least expect it. Satan chose the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden because the serpent is subtle. It’s sneaky. It knows how to hide and wait, and how to ambush. Then the poison goes in its prey, and it affects the body and the mind.
The venom of most poisonous snakes attacks the central nervous system. It causes the brain to stop telling the heart to beat. It’s the same with sin. That old wood pile looks fun – like a good place to play. That stand of trees with trails and streams looks inviting – but it’s outside our boundaries.
Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay
It will cost you more than you wanted to pay
It will teach you more than you wanted to know
And it will take you farther than you ever wanted to go
The first day of sin is the best day of sin. It’s all downhill after that. Trouble is easy to get into, but hard to get out of. The poisonous venom of the snakes among the people – these “snakes on a plain” – was deadly venom. There was no antivenin. It’s the same with sin.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is a payment due for sin, and the payment is death.
So the people went to Moses and said, “We’ve got snakes on a plain, snakes among the people – what can we do!”
Moses prayed to God…
…and he prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
God said the remedy – the only remedy – for snakes on a plain, for snakes among the people is…
The Snake on a Pole – which we will look at next time.