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Look and Live

Daily Reading: Numbers 21

Scripture Focus: So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. (Numbers 21:9)

Devotional Thought: Numbers 21 records a foreshadowing of Christ through the bronze serpent. The Israelite people, as was their tendency, were complaining in the wilderness, speaking against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food,” (v5). Oh, you mean the miracle food that rains down from heaven every single day, enough to feed millions of people in the desert? As easy as it is to criticize the Israelites, we can easily see the same attitudes at work in our own flesh.

God responded to the Israelites for their complaining, grumbling, ungrateful attitudes. He sent fiery serpents among the people, which bit them and killed many of them. However, in his characteristic show of mercy to even the most ungrateful among them, he provided a way for salvation; if they would simply look up to the likeness of a serpent on a pole (made by Moses at the Lord’s instruction), they would live.

The Israelites were all deserving of death, and yet God continued to honor his covenant with these stubborn, undeserving people. Just as they received mercy they didn’t deserve, so do we through the Son of God, lifted up not on a pole, but on a Roman cross. All we must do is look up to him for our salvation. He has paid the terrible debt that we owed. He has taken the wrath of the righteous Father upon himself. And, he has bridged the chasm to reconciliation that we could have never built ourselves. Praise the Lord!

Will you "look and live" today?


Prayer: Lord, thank you for providing a way for us to be with you forever, for bridging the enormous chasm that lay between us with your great Mercy.

Psalm of the Day: 145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes. 146 I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. 148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. 149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life. 150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law. 151 But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true. 152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever. (Psalms 119:145-152)

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