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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Numbers 21:8

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.

For further study - Numbers 21:1-35

I have just realized that more and more I am giving you a whole chapter in a book to read for our extended devotional. I hope that you agree, it should not hinder us in our devotional time to spend a bit more time in the "Book".

I will point out several tidbits in this chapter for today, but first to our key verse. Let me give you the background for our reading today. Moses was leading the children of Israel towards the Promised Land and at this time they had been wandering for almost forty years.

The Israelites were very discouraged at not being able to get to the Promised Land; howbeit, it was their own fault because of their disobedience and unbelief.

Verse 4 tells us that they were not able to continue along the "Kings Highway", 20:17, because the Edomites refused to allow them to pass that way. Therefore they had to travel by way of the Red Sea, towards Arabia, around Petra and Edom and then into Ammon before they would cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

The people once again spoke against Moses and his leadership, complaining also against God, verse 5. This then caused the Lord to send "fiery serpents" among the children of Israel. Many of the Jews were bitten and they died, verse 6.

At this point God told Moses to make a replica of the "fiery serpent" and put it atop a pole that was to stand up in the wilderness. God then said that if the Jewish people would look up to the "fiery serpent", they would live. This "look and live" action was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ on His cross.

The people of Israel would continue along the "Kings Highway" and be confronted by Sihon the King of the Amorites in the area of "Heshbon". If you've ever traveled on a tour with me thru the Land of the Bible and into Jordan, you have seen "Heshbon".

It was at "Heshbon" where God allowed the Israelites to defeat the Amorites. It was after that victory that the Lord told Moses to send a group up into Bashan to defeat Og, the King of Bashan. The children of Israel defeated the people of Bashan and later Joshua gave Bashan to the half tribe of Manasseh, even though it was on the eastern shore of the Jordan River.

By the way, Bashan is the name also known in the Bible, and today, as the "Golan," the Golan Heights. This event took place 3,500 years ago. That's how long ago that God gave the Golan Heights to the Jewish people.

One has to wonder why the Syrians lay claim to the Golan Heights. Even in recent days the leaders of Syria have said that they will take the Golan Heights back diplomatically or by force, militarily. This potential military action between Israel and Syria is very viable today.

The truth of the matter is, the enemies of Israel, the Jewish state today, don't want Jews anywhere in the Middle East. This “satanic influence” which directs the ways of the enemies of Israel today is setting the stage for the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy to be fulfilled seemingly in the near future.

How up-to-date our devotional readings are each and every day. We must realize that God’s plan for the end times will be played out. As we watch from the sidelines we have to understand that His shout for us to join Him in the air is about to be heard, maybe even today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for being lifted up on the cross like the "fiery serpent" on the pole in the wilderness so that I could "look and live".