Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Numbers, Chapters 21-22 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Numbers 21: 4-9: … [Snake on the Pole] … 4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 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!”
6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 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.
8 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.” 9 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.
My Journal for Today: Today in my chronological read through the Bible, I was taken to Chapters 21-22 of Numbers; and the passage which was emboldened for me to write about today was the one copied above from Numbers 21: 4-9, the story of God, the snakes, and the pole statue. And on the surface it just seems to be another in a long line of God teaching the grumbling and continually recalcitrant Israelites a lesson in obedience and mercy. And most certainly it is documentation of that; but this story has way more prophetic and Messianic implications for a Bible traveler like me.
Please take the time, fellow traveler through God’s word, to meditate on this story. And do you recognize the pole symbol which God had constructed to be a traveling remembrance of how He mercifully provided a way for His rebellious children to be saved from the plague of snakes which He had visited upon those disobedient fools in the desert? Yes, … for those who’ve been in hospitals or doctor’s offices, you may remember the international healing symbol, the CADUCEUS, … two snakes entwining a pole beneath wings of victory (or healing, in this instance). Well, the origin of that symbol can be found in this passage.
And if you ever go to the pinnacle of Mount Nebo in Jordan, which is the very place where Moses took God’s people during their trek to the promised-land; and the place being referred to in Numbers 21, there is an enormous statue erected there of bronze on the place where Moses looked out over the promised land, … the land he would never enter but the promised land which would one day be the place where God’s people were returned to God’s healing and covering care. I’ll attach a picture of that statue below for your viewing; and you’ll note how the statue on Mount Nebo resembles the healing symbol, the Caduceus.
But also note how the symbol depicts Christ on the cross; and that’s the prophetic picture which God was crafting for His people; and it is the image which Jesus, Who was the fulfillment of this prophesy, spoke of to Nicodemus in the garden, which we read of in John 3: 13-15 to which I’ll link you here to read.
And what is our take-away application here? Well, I hope you’ve seen it. God was giving His people a picture, by creating a statue, which they could look upon and, in their faith, would be delivered from the poison of their own sinfulness. That, my friends, is exactly the picture of salvation and healing which any of us can have (and hopefully already have had) when we look to what Christ did on that pole of death and life in Calvary, … the Lord shedding His blood on that tree, so that anyone in faith can be cleansed, healed, and saved from the poison of their own sin.
It is a glorious and wonderful picture of salvation; and isn’t it wonderful that we can see how God used this picture in several places in the Bible to remind us of God’s healing. We read about it here in Numbers; and as I’ve mentioned in the New Testament as Jesus made reference to the same image. But you can also read about it in a Psalm written by King David’s worship leader, Asaph, who remembered this image in Psalm 78, which I hope you’ll go back and read with this link …
God’s healing and saving grace is always there for anyone who looks to the cross and sees, through the eyes of faith, a Savior Who died there to rid us of the poisonous effect of the snakes of sinfulness. I pray we all have seen Christ, through the eyes of faith, giving His all on that pole at Golgotha so that we can be healed of death and live forever with Christ as our Jehovah Rapha, the Healer of all healers. He is our caduceus; and we live under the healing of His blood on the cross.
My Prayer Today: … Heavenly Father, thank you for providing an image I can look upon and be reminded of what You did on that pole of death to provide me with life eternal. Amen