This week the preschoolers are learning about the Israelites and the bronze snake. I always find the story of the bronze snake a bit odd. The Israelites stop being obedient to God and so he sends venomous snakes to bite and kill them. They repent and go to Moses to intercede, once again, on their behalf. Numbers 21:8 says, “And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”
What in the world? This seems so out of character for God. It’s almost as if God is saying this object, the snake on the pole, is going to be the thing that rescues the people. But this is not at all the case. Repeatedly in the history of Israel, the people choose their own path and direction. They choose not to trust God to provide for their needs, to keep them safe or to deliver them from their enemies. They often don’t trust their leaders and the men that God put in charge of them either. Repeatedly they were humbled and given over to the consequences of their sinful ways and ended up having to ask Moses to intercede and repent on their behalf.
The story of the bronze snake is a story of learning to trust God. No matter what instruction or direction you are given from God, trust it. Trust his Word. Trust his leading. Trust his guidance. The Bible is filled with verses about the benefits, blessings, and successes you will have if you choose to trust God.
Probably the most commons is Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord.
Psalm 9:10 – And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
However, more often than not we fail in this area.
I remember Pastor Monty preaching one time about worry. When we choose to worry instead of trusting God, we are ultimately living as if God doesn’t exist or care about us. Living this way is practical atheism. Living in a state of worry is not only sinful, but also puts us in a place where ultimately we do not believe God is God. Or that God is sovereign. When we worry we say, God, this situation is bigger than you can handle. This circumstance is more than you can take care of, so I am going to worry my way through it and try to figure it out on my own.
God can handle our worries. He can handle our issues, situations and fears. He wants to take care of those for us to show us that He alone is God. He alone is our Rescuer. Our job is to trust in him only.
Psalm 37:5 – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.