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Bible Pathway - Feb. 22, 2010


Numbers 21


Fiery serpents; brass serpent; Israel defeats King Arad, Amorites, Moabites; Balaam hired to curse the Israelites.

Verses for Today:

The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel died. . . . The people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord. . . . And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived (Num. 21:6-7,9).
The Israelites were near their last encampment and would soon cross the Jordan River to enter into the promised land. Some of them had been children when, with their parents, they had left Egypt. Others had been born in the wilderness.

The people spake against God, and against Moses (21:5). His marvelous protection from the desert dangers was withdrawn. Until this time, there was no record that anyone had been bitten by a serpent (Note Deut. 8:15).

When they repented, Moses prayed for the people (Num. 21:7). The response to his prayer was immediate. 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 (21:8). The brass serpent not only symbolized the judgment of God against their sin but also His loving mercy for all those who repented. One must look in faith at the brass serpent to be healed. Mankind was poisoned by that old serpent, called the Devil (Rev. 12:9) and all of us become enslaved to sin.

Many centuries later, Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. . . . As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:1,14-15). Jesus said that the serpent which had been lifted up by Moses illustrated Himself as the One who would be lifted up on the cross as the only way to be saved from eternal death (3:14; 12:32-33). Jesus continued: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (3:5). All mankind (Jesus the One exception) was born spiritually dead. But, when we receive Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, we are "born again" and receive His spiritual nature: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name (John 1:12).

Thought for Today:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).

Christ Portrayed:

By Moses who was faithful to pray to God for the people (Num. 21:7). Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house (family, i.e. the Israelites) (Heb. 3:1-2). Jesus . . . liveth to make intercession (7:22-25).

Word Studies:

21:4 compass =go around; 21:11 sunrising =eastern border; 21:23 suffer =permit; 22:1 this side =eastern side; 22:4 lick up =defeat in battle, consume; 22:5 over against =in front of; opposite; 22:6 wot =know.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Country: Andorra (78,000) in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain • Major languages: Catalan and French • Official freedom of religion • 94% Christian; 4% non-Religious; .6% Muslim; .9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for your daily needs (Luke 11:3)

Optional Reading: Luke 9

Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:13-16

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