The Aim of this devotional Bible study is to grow in appreciation and understanding of God’s gift of salvation.
4 From Mount Hor [the Israelites] set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 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.”
6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 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. 8 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.”
9 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.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 5 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
- Let’s summarize Numbers 21 by linking the verse reference on the left with the best one-word description on the right:
- In John 3 Jesus uses the allegory of Numbers 21 to refer to his own salvation. In essence, every person is “bitten by a serpent” and must look at “the fiery serpent on a pole, lifted up” to live. Answer the following questions about this allegory shortly:
- what does “being bitten by the serpent” refer to?
- what does the “death” of those bitten by the serpents refer to?
- what does this “fiery serpent on a pole” refer to?
- what is the significance of Jesus being identified as a “fiery serpent on a pole”? (hint: Galatians 3:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:21)
- We know that on the cross Jesus became a substitution for the wrath of God, carrying the punishment of our sin and dying on our behalf. In which way can you see this both Numbers 21 and John 3 above?
- Memorize John 3:14-18 (do one verse at a time if it is intimidating). The Bible School group will be asked to repeat it at our meetings this week.
Respond in prayer – thanksgiving for your salvation and intercession for a friend or family member who must still respond to God’s gift of salvation.