Thursday, April 14, 2011

Numbers 21:8 NASB

"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live."

There's an old revival hymn that has a phrase that says, "Look and live, my brother live!"  This is the basic call of salvation, just simply "Look and live!"  This thought comes from a terrible incident with the children of Israel in the Sinai wilderness, found in Numbers 21:4-9.  They had become impatient with the journey and spoke against God and Moses, complaining about their circumstances.  Never a smart move, but God used it to bring into the picture a greater picture, making a profound statement about sin and giving to the world a a prophetic symbol of salvation.  Poisonous serpents came into the camp, biting the people, and many were dying.  They cried out to Moses to intercede on their behalf, and the LORD told him to "make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live."  Incredible!  Look at what this means!  Jesus picked this up, as we find it in John 3:14-15, and uses it in reference to Himself, saying, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life."  Let's remember this friends, sin is never a small thing.  It's our sin that put Jesus on the cross.  It's His great salvation that held Him to the cross.  Without lessening the seriousness of the sin, Jesus just simply said, "Look and live!"  He has the power to free us from the "bite" and "poison" of sin in our lives and to give us life abundantly, in this life!  No wonder believers sing! Charles Wesley, moved by this incredible heart of God, penned these words:

And can it be, that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, shoulds't die for me?

'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace,
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race:
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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