Fast forward one year. The people continue to complain and not trust in God’s ability to protect and provide for them resulting in 40 years of desert wanderings until a new generation has replaced the disobedient generation. The nation has finally begun to fulfill the destiny God intended. Following a victory, once again, the people complain.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
I am always wrong when I disagree with the LORD, but a bronze snake on a pole seems like a bad idea given the people’s propensity to worship idols. The Bible records about Hezekiah, a good king who lived generations after the bronze snake, is cleaning the spiritual house of Israel.
2 Kings 18:3-4
He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)
When I think the children of Israel were spiritual idiots for witnessing God’s activity in the world and then doubting His ability, the Holy Spirit reminds me of my failings. Any time I worry or anxious, I am forgetting that God loves me and is more than able to rescue me from whatever trouble I am encountering.
Does worry or anxiety ever take over your faith and trust in God?