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  The Great Bible Story #41
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Fiery serpents

Jacob Ninan
As the people of Israel were made to travel around the desert places, they became weary and once again began to complain against God and Moses. They told they hated the food God was giving them and wished they were back in Egypt. This time God sent many fiery snakes among them, and many died from the snake bite. When they realised what was happening, they went back to Moses and admitted that they had been complaining against him and God, asking him to plead with God to take away the snakes. What God did was to ask Moses to make a bronze serpent and lift it up on a tall pole. Now whenever someone got bitten by a snake, they had to look at this bronze serpent and they would be healed.

This was also again a symbol God made that would represent how Jesus would save the people. When Jesus was 'lifted up' on the cross just as the bronze serpent was lifted up on the pole, then it became possible for people who had been bitten by sin to look to Him for salvation. Even though the people of Israel who looked at the bronze serpent were saved from death, they did not seem to learn any lesson from it. In fact later on they made this bronze serpent into an idol and started worshipping it! And then it had to be destroyed by a God fearing king!

God continued to take care of them in spite of all these setbacks. As they went on with their journey they came across the Amorites. They sent a message to their king, Sihon, asking for permission to pass through his land. They promised not to cause any damage or to steal anything from the land. But Sihon came out to fight with them instead. God helped Israel to rout the Amorites, and they lived in that place for some time. When they moved from there and tried to go past Bashan, Og the king of Bashan came to fight with them. God defeated them just as He did with the Amorites. These two victories became landmarks in the history of Israel and they used to sing about God giving Sihon and Og into their hands as they sang their praises to God.


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Comfort & Counsel