Look to Jehovah

brazen-serpent-svitozar-nenyuk

The children of Israel traveled through the Sinai wilderness. The following story is given in Numbers 21.

[4] And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
[5] And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
[6] And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
[7] Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
[8] And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
[9] And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Jesus referenced this story in John 3.

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

* * *

The Book of Mormon provides additional insight.

1 Nephi 17

[41] And he (The Lord) did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

2 Nephi 25

[20] And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.

Helaman 8

[14] Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.
[15] And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.

* * *

Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary. The serpent on Moses’ pole represented these sins. The pole symbolized Jesus’ cross.

The children of Israel got into trouble because they became discouraged and complained bitterly. The Lord had provided manna to them, but they were very ungrateful. The manna itself represented Jesus Christ who is the “Bread of Life.” (John 6:35)

Perhaps we are all like the complaining children of Israel sometimes.

We must thank the Lord every day for the blessings that he has given us. We must confess and repent of our sins. Then the Lord will heal us from our wounds.

Remember his words:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 45:22)

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

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