Sunday Morning Podcast November 1, 2015. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: NUMBERS 20:25- 29, 21:1-9
25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up unto Mount Hor:
26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and die there.
27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.
28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.
29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
1 And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
2 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
3 And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
4 And they journeyed from mount Hord by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5 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.
6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 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.
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 everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
When Aaron was about to die, Moses transferred Aaron’s priestly robes, to Aaron’s son, Eleazar. The Israelite’s were then led to fight the Canaanites, going around, through the land of Edom. This detour was in a place of no water. The people then complained, even also about the manna they daily ate. They were tired, and not thankful for all God had done for them. They had taken God’s blessings for granted. Consequently God caused fiery serpents to come into the camp and bite the people, because of their complaining and unthankful hearts. Many were sick, and many died. The people repented of their complaining, asking God to deliver them. God had Moses make them a brass serpent on a pole, as a symbol to look at for their healing from the further death and afflictions that they had reaped by their unthankfulness.
In 2 Kings 18th chapter we read how many years later, the Israelite’s had made that brass serpent as a god to worship, instead of God. This is where they strayed again from God’s paths for them. For their focus again was not on Him. God alone is to be worshiped, and not a symbol that reminds us of Him. Today, as then, it is important that we keep our eyes on the subject (God) and not just symbols of Him. The world has many “symbols” to cause us to misplace our faith in. Symbols (crosses, religion, nature, etc.) cannot save us from sin. Symbols cannot keep us holy. Symbols cannot give us grace in an hour of real need. Only the subject, God, can give us the power, to watch carefully our spiritual garments, or hearts. Only God, not things, can keep us from going astray, so that we are not spotted by the sins of the world.
Keep your spiritual eyes on God, not mere symbols of Him.