January 4
‘Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,’ John 3:14
Bible reading: Numbers 21:4-9 (Go to the Bible passage)
The people of Israel grew impatient… Impatience is one of the greatest obstacles in Christian life to spiritual maturing. ‘You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised’, it says in the New Testament (Hebrews 10:36). And indeed, a lot of perseverance was needed for the people of Israel to enter the Promised Land. And throughout those forty years the people only fed on manna and quails. There was not much variation in the menu!
As believers, we too are on our way to the Promised Land. One might think: on our way to heaven, but I am more inclined to think that we are on the way to the New Heaven and the New Earth, of which the Book of Revelation speaks (21:1).
On our way we may suffer a lot of hardship, just like the Israelites on their way to Canaan. The only food for our journey is the bread that descended from heaven: the word of God. But sometimes we get bored, and we prefer to read a comic book or a relaxing novel instead of the Bible. Then we are actually longing for the fleshpots of Egypt.
But then it should not surprise us that sin approaches us like a poisonous snake. It overpowers and strangles us, the snake poison enters the blood stream and kills us.
Let us not sin against God by blaming Him that the spiritual barrenness is staring us in the face like death. Let us instead in obedience look up at Jesus, Who was made sin for us, just like the Israelites needed to look up at the bronze serpent on the stake when they had been lethally bitten, so that we too may not shrivel and wither but fully live!
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