So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. (Numbers 21:9)
In Numbers 21, Israel’s threats loomed large. Intimidated by the Canaanites and the Amorites, God’s people were thirsty, exhausted, and low on patience. But God removed these threats by granting them victory over the kings of Arad, Heshbon, and Bashon (v. 3, 24, 34), and by providing water (v. 16-18). Problems solved, right? Wrong.
The people grew resentful. Instead of worshiping God for His blessing and provision, they rebelled and grumbled against Him because their circumstances weren’t to their liking. This was blasphemy and God would not have it, so He sent an army of venomous snakes to destroy them. As a result, many died.
Israel begged for mercy and God provided a remedy that healed their venom-riddled bodies: “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live” (v. 8).
Of the threats in Numbers 21, which was most deadly? The hostile Canaanites? No. The water-shortage? No again. In fact, Numbers does not record any Israelites dying from these “outside threats”. Rather, that which nearly ruined them came from within: unbelief.
Unbelief is like venom. It kills true worship by driving us to resentment and rebellion. And it will destroy us in the end.
Slow down. Did you get that? Please don’t miss it: any unbelief that we’re allowing to fester in our hearts has tremendous potential to destroy.
Is there unbelief lingering in your heart? Where in your own life are you failing to worship God for His blessing and provision?
The greatest threat to true worship does not come from outside the church, but from within. Yet in Jesus, God offers the remedy we so desperately need: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14–15).
As Sunday approaches, let’s look to Jesus and live. Take a moment to pray that the glory of eternal life would drive out any unbelief that remains in your heart. We need to pray that way until our lives overflow with the living waters of Christ-exalting worship. That’s the kind of worship God is seeking from us (John 4:23).
Set List for Sunday, February 25, 2018:
The Lion And The Lamb by Bethel Music (B. Brown, B. Johnson, L. Mooring)
Worthy Of Your Name by Passion (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
Jesus Paid It All by Passion (J.T. Grape, E. Hall, A. Nifong)
Heart Abandoned (S. Curran, K. Stanfill)
What A Beautiful Name (B. Fielding, B. Ligertwood)
You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s song rotation on Spotify.