Bountiful Spirit - March 23, 2021
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.’ Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.’ So Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.
Reflection by Susan Rubendall
Some stories in the Old Testament are really tough. If I had been marching through a hot, dry desert for many months, perhaps carrying a baby on my back, with nothing to eat but that miserable manna, I think it’s very likely that I (and perhaps you) would have joined the complainers and probably been furious that God responded with snakes instead of food.
The message in this strange story is that we must trust God no matter what happens. Why? Not because it’s logical or sensible but because that is our only option. When things get really tough, all we can do is look to our Lord in faith and hope.