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In the following pages I will chronicle my step by step journey as a Church Planter
A Serpent. A Pole. A Savior. A Cross.

Many of the stories recorded in the Old Testament are not only historical, or allegorical, they are also symbolic of Gods ultimate plan of redemption thru the death burial and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ.

One such story is recorded in the Book of Numbers. The Children of Israel had been delivered from slavery out of Egypt, and as God led them with a cloud by day and fire by night, they had experienced His love, patience and provision, time and time again.

Numbers 21:4-9, records, “Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became discouraged on the way. And 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 our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He will take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set in on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at at the bronze serpent, he lived”.

In this passage we see that as the Children of Israel journey thru the desert their soul became discouraged. As their heart began to turn from God so did their trust. They began to speak against Him, complaining about the path he was leading them down, and complaining about, in their opinion, His lack of provision.

After they began to question God, snakes began to slither their way into the camp. Attacking and biting the people. Many that were bitten died and those that had been attacked but were still alive, were in great pain and well on their way to death.

Surrounded by snakes and writhing in pain the Children of Israel came to their senses and turned to God, asking Him for help. God then instructed Moses to place a bronze snake, a representative of the very thing that had killed them, on a wooden pole. Whoever looked upon the snake would be healed and saved from death.

This story in Numbers is a symbol of our journey and also our redemption.

As we journey thru this life, it is very easy for our soul to become discouraged. The more we become discouraged like the Children of Israel our view of Gods love, Gods protection and Gods provision gets skewed and out of balance.

As our hearts turn against God, so does our trust and we begin to speak against him, complaining about the path he is leading us down. Thinking we can do it better on our own, we begin to complain about His rules, His guidance and His provision. Because our hearts are far from God, the snake of sin, enters into us and bites our very soul, filling us with its poison. Although we are physically alive, our soul lives in torment and death. But like the children of Israel, all hope is not lost. God has a plan. He has always had a plan.

In the book of Genesis, we see a perfect utopia. God and man living in perfect harmony. Until one day a snake enters the Garden and slithers up a tree. While wrapped around a wooden branch, sin talks to Adam and Eve, tricking them to not trust everything God has said. As they bite into the fruit of the tree, sin sinks its teeth deep into their heart. Their soul now writhing in pain, although Adam and Eve, are physically alive they and all humanity that will follow them are spiritually dead.

As Jesus, the Hero of the old Testament, walks onto the pages of human history, He is well aware of why he has come. One night when a man named Nicodemus comes to visit Him to discuss how a man can be saved, Jesus speaks to him words that are recorded in John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”.

Just as the serpent was placed on a wooden branch.
Just as the bronze snake was placed on a wooden pole.
The son of God would be placed on a wooden cross.

Sin had once hung from a tree in the Garden of Eden to bring death to the world. Now sin would hang on an old rugged cross and bring life to all that receive it. II Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

Just as a serpent on a wooden pole once saved the children of Israel from death caused by a snake bite. It would now be the flesh of a Savior that saved humanity from the death caused by its fleshly desires. Romans 8:3 says, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak thru the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin, He condemned Sin in the flesh”.

Just as thousands of years before, people looked to a bronze serpent to be delivered from a painful death. Now all those who look to Jesus are able to lay aside the weights of sin. Hebrews 12:1-2 declares, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensures us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

Just as the serpent was placed on a wooden branch.
Just as the bronze snake was placed on a wooden pole.
The son of God would be placed on a wooden cross.

The story recorded in Numbers 21:4-9 is more than just history.
It is a symbol. It is a foreshadowing of Gods plan of redemption.