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Faithlife
Faithlife

Snakes on a Plain

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Summer series, we can learn a lot from encounters people in Scripture have with animals.
Opening text
Numbers 21:
Numbers 21:4–9 ESV
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke 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.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 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.” 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.
Leaving a mount on the way to the sea, they are in a valley area or you could say plain, and there is snakes on the plain.
They complain about the freedom desire the slavery.
In the garden they did not believe that what God had promised was better, same here.
Desiring sin or the ways of old will only bring about harm and pain in your life.
scribes do not understand this text, even today don’t get it. Why would looking at a bronze snake on a wood pole heal them? No Clue. What does it mean or signify, no clue.
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Jesus understood it, and we as believers should too.
Nicodemus.
A truth given in one of the most famous passages of all time.
John 3:1–17 ESV
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And 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. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:1–18 ESV
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And 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. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Ruler, most likely apart of the Sanhedrin.
Born again, become a new creature.
Does not understand. Though he is the Teacher o Isreal. Possible that he was currently the spokesman for the Sanhedrin or main teacher. Most influential jewish religious man in the world.
Jesus says that the snake represents him.
He will be lifted up and whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life.
Bronze represents judgement in the law, the animals were sacrificed on the bronze altar, in the tabernacle.
Snake represents sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Bronze represents judgement in the law, the animals were sacrificed on the bronze altar, in the temple.
Pole represents the cross.
Snake represents sin.
Looking to the snake, represents the faith of looking unto Jesus.
Pole represents the cross.
Looking to the snake, represents the faith of looking unto Jesus.
1 Cor
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 . Snake bites
Snakes kill more than any other venomous animal. 5 million people bit, 100k die, 400k disabled or disfigured. amputations, paralyzation .
Venom either effects the circulatory or nervous system. Meaning the effect is on the head or the heart. Sin hits us in the head and the heart.
Some snakes kill with in 30 minutes, some can strike faster than you can blink, some can slither faster than you can run. some has enough venom in one bite to kill a 100 grown men.
We should and do take venom serious we recognize the danger, We must come to the same place with sin. Its serious stuff, it wounds and it always kills without the anti-venom.
2. Anti-venom
You cant suck it out, that is a myth, most natural remedies only slow the effect, Keeping heart rate and movement low only delays the effects. Long story short there is little you can do with out the antivenin.
Researchers are trying to create a single anti-venom for all venoms, nothing yet.
Jesus is the one anti-venom for all sin and sinners. Look unto him!
3. Snake eyes
Legends of hypnotizing, not real but they do stare down their pray.
Jesus has the power over sin, keep looking to him.
Keeping our eyes on Jesus protects us. says we can pick up snakes and that we are immune to any type of deadly poison. Paul was bit by a snake when he crash landed on an island and he was fine.
Appalachians pick up snakes. Not cult just weird.
Point is the power is in Jesus and looking unto him. Keep your eyes on the snake lifted up.
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