Our Old Testament reading is Numbers 21:4-9.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
Do you ever read a scripture passage and ask “why is this here?” I have that experience occasionally and ask what lesson we are intended to learn from the reading. God gave us scripture for a purpose but sometimes we must dig a little deeper to understand.
The children of Israel were led out of slavery into the wilderness in order to know God’s power and His provision for them. However, they were often unhappy with the situation and grumbled against Moses and God. In this story we hear of the punishment for speaking against our Creator.
It is a hard lesson, but that is the reason we must hear it. God wants us to know that even in adversity He is with us. We must keep our faith strong and believe that when the way is hard, He will continue to lead and care for us.
Gracious God, we are sorry for the times we grumble about our situation. Help us to share our pain with You but not waver in our beliefs. May we be made strong through Your love. Amen.