Look & Live

Numbers 21:5-8, "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. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 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. 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.”

We are not any different from the children of Israel.  We have the sinful nature of Adam in us, and without a resolve that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and His Word we all have a tendency to complain. The people were discouraged (vs. 4), and their discouragement manifested itself through complaints lodged against both the LORD and His servant Moses.  God sent serpents out of the wilderness in order to bring judgment upon their sin of blasphemy. People were dying as a result, and they responded by confessing their sin and seeking the intercession of Moses on their behalf. God replied to Moses prayer and said, "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."

God made a provision to cure the children of Israel and their sin, by an act of faith, they could look upon the fiery serpent, held high upon a pole, and live.  Matthew Henry in his Concise Commentary states, "God made a wonderful provision for their relief. The Jews themselves say it was not the sight of the brazen serpent that cured; but in looking up to it, they looked up to God as the Lord that healed them. (italics mine) There was much gospel in this. Our Saviour declared, John 3:14,15, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish. Compare their disease and ours. Sin bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Compare the application of their remedy and ours. They looked and lived, and we, if we believe, shall not perish. It is by faith that we look unto Jesus, Hebrews 12:2. Whosoever looked, however desperate his case, or feeble his sight, or distant his place, was certainly and perfectly cured. The Lord can relieve us from dangers and distresses, by means which human reason never would have devised. Oh that the venom of the old serpent, inflaming men's passions, and causing them to commit sins which end in their eternal destruction, were as sensibly felt, and the danger as plainly seen, as the Israelites felt pain from the bite of the fiery serpents, and feared the death which followed! Then none would shut their eyes to Christ, or turn from his gospel. Then a crucified Saviour would be so valued, that all things else would be accounted loss for him; then, without delay, and with earnestness and simplicity, all would apply to him in the appointed way, crying, Lord, save us; we perish! Nor would any abuse the freeness of Christ's salvation, while they reckoned the price which it cost him."

Please look up the references of John 3:14-15 and Hebrews 12:2, they will be a blessing to you.

I trust you have looked unto Jesus, and because of your faith in Him, you have assurance that you have eternal life.  "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

(1 John 5:13)  A pole cannot save, nor can a cross, but the Savior who died on the cross can and will save all who look to Him!

Your Friend and HIS,

Pastor Abbott


1.  What is man's greatest ailment?  How did we inherit this disease?

2. How do you find forgiveness from God?  

3. What is God's provision for us today in receiving forgiveness of sins?

4. Have you placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour?  When and where were you?