Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Look and Live

Read Numbers 21.

To paraphrase Jesus, "The critics you have with you always."  No matter what Moses or God did, the complaining continued.  And, the people seem to be even bolder, not just blaming Moses but "spoke against God" (v.5).  The issue of complaint was the same as before.  They were worried about their daily needs of food and water.

Jesus said, "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:31-32)

The LORD's judgment against those who would so falsely accuse Him of not supplying their needs was a plague of venomous snakes.  "Many people of Israel died" (v.6).  In order to stop the plague, God had Moses craft a bronze snake and put it on a pole as a symbol of healing.  Those who looked at it would live.  There was absolutely no power in the pole.  The power was in their response of faith that doing what God instructed would save them.

The logo of the American Medical Association is a serpent on a pole.  In the official explanation, they do not give credit to Numbers 21 from c.1500 B.C. for the logo.  Instead, they site a mythical figure of Aesculapius, the son of the sun god Apollo, as early as 1200 B.C. for its basis.  Beginning in the 17th century, a snake on a pole became the primary symbol of medicine.  The AMA has utilized it as its logo since 1910.  How many medical professionals through the years have had no idea of the true source of their own logo?

Jesus commented on this very passage in Numbers.  "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:14)  Looking in faith to Jesus as the only healing there is for sin gives life.

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