Here a snake, there a snake, everywhere a snake, snake. This doesn’t sound like anywhere I would want to be, but there was a group of people who found themselves in such a place.
This group of travelers was in the desert and growing a little cranky. One thing leads to another and Israel finds themselves surrounded by poisonous snakes, so they asked Moses to pray.
“Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it.’ So, Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed,” according to Numbers 21:8-9.
God’s answer for the people is easy. “Simply look at the snake.” In other words, “trust me.” That’s it. If an Israelite was bitten by a snake, he or she just needed to trust God by looking at the bronze snake. Perhaps they expected a more difficult process. Find a specific plant oil or hold the infected area in the sand for 15 minutes, but God’s answer was simple. The simplicity may have caused some people trouble.
It did Nicodemus, and Jesus said to him, “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up. So that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world, he gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God sent his son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:14-17). Jesus requested trust from Nicodemus. Follow his leading to eternal life, and you will be saved just like the Israelites who looked at the bronze snake.
Jesus requests the same trust from us. “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” he says in John 14:1. “You trust in God; trust also in me.” The simplicity of trusting him confuses us at times. We feel there should be something more, but Jesus reminds us following him will lead to eternal life. We forget all the places we see the Lord at work, so our trust may begin to slip a little. The question of is there something more I need to do slides into our thoughts.
But Jesus assures us, trusting him is the action required. By the way, we trust simple actions to do complex work all the time. We trust pushing an elevator button will raise or lower us to the desired floor without seeing the mechanical movements of the elevator. We turn a door knob to open the door without witnessing the latch being pulled back in the door. We trust Google and Alexa to turn on our lights without seeing the process go through its steps. Jesus asks for our trust. Do we trust him?
Make a list of the ways the Lord is working in your life for reference if your trust begins to slip a little. Where have you seen the Lord at work? How has God shown himself trustworthy to you in the past?
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