Imagine being in a desert wasteland. There is no cell-phone service. No hospitals. There is no way whatever to find help in a crisis! Then suddenly, you and your fellow companions begin to be bitten by poisonous snakes! In fact, some of your comrades are falling down dead! The situation is most dire! For surely you will all die! Now, this is no fictitious scenario, but a very real historical record that is found in the pages of God’s holy Word! The account is relatively brief, but is also again mentioned together with the most well known verse in the Bible, John 3:16.
We read the account like this: “From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient 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 we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And 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 take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” (Numbers 21:4-9)
So, how could this account possibly relate to us? Well, let’s find out!