Last Sunday one of our Scripture readings was about the children of Israel complaining in the wilderness, whereupon they were attacked by fiery serpents until Moses healed them by lifting up a bronze serpent on a pole, which Jesus would later apply to Himself (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21).
I was struck by one of the Israelite’s whines: “We loathe this worthless food” (Numbers 21:5). They were talking about Manna! The miraculous food that God supplied them day by day without their effort! It was delicious! “It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16: 31). And yet, even though this was an astounding miracle from a loving God, the people got tired of it. They thought it was boring. It became something to complain about. “We loathe this worthless food.”
How often we–or, I should say, I–take our blessings for granted, to the point of thinking them worthless. The only remedy, I suppose, is for fiery serpents to awake us to our need. And for the Bronze Serpent to show us how that very sinfulness has been crucified and for the one who bore that sin in His body to heal us. [Read more...]