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“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.”  Numbers 21:7 NIV

One way to neutralize the snakes in your life  is to ask God to intervene. Today’s verse comes from a passage that is classic Israelites, which is also classic us.  Moses is leading the Israelites to Mt. Hor on a trade route around the Red Sea. The Israelites get impatient, and for the first time, not only complain about Moses, but God.  All other times their gripes were against Moses, this time they are upset with God. God responds to their complaints by sending venomous snakes among them. Of course, now in physical harm, they turn to Moses for help.  Moses immediately goes to God and asks Him to remove the snakes. Here was God’s response:

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.”  Numbers 21: 8-9 NIV.

God didn’t remove the snakes, he neutralized them.

I have a friend who reminds me, any story we find in the Bible, we can find ourselves in as well.  Today’s story is a prime example, we’ve all complained about God at some point or another in our life. He hasn’t handled a situation the way we think He should have handled it.   We don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. I know, when I was single, I was frustrated because I felt like I was doing “everything right,” yet nothing was happening.  I waited over 40 years for my husband. I can relate to how the Israelite’s felt wandering in the desert for that long. When we are in the wilderness, our humanness has no problem finding faults with God.

God sent venomous snakes to answer the Israelites’ complaints.  The venomous snakes are what made them realize they were sinning.  God didn’t send the snakes to be mean, He sent them to get them back on track.  Sometimes, whether we like it or not, He sends venomous snakes into our lives to do the same thing.  Snakes remind us of our sin, our need for God. 

God is a gentleman, He never pushes Himself upon us, He waits for us to turn to Him. When we do, God neutralizes the snakes in our lives.

Question of the Day:

What snakes do you need God to neutralize in your life?

Further Reading: Numbers 21:1-22:20 NIV, Luke 1:26-56 NIV, Psalm 57:1-11NIV, Proverbs 11:9-11 NIV

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