In the previous chapter we learned that the Israelites were not granted a shortcut through the land of Edom. The way Moses asked, I am guessing (might be wrong) that the Edomites were probably the descendants of Esau. Anyway, they were somehow related, they asked nicely, and yet they were denied passage. This happened after the waters of Meriba incident. Did God have a say in this?
Now because of this they have to go a longer way. Then, surprise, impatience kicked in and they were complaining and grumbling again. Moses, Moses, again Moses. We don’t know how Moses responded this time – because he usually runs to God to vent his frustrations. I am guessing he has learned a valuable lesson, to not let these things get to him. This time, it was God who made the move, sending fiery serpents that bite and caused people to die.
This must have been a sight for Moses. He left Egypt with much more people, there’s still a lot, but they are definitely a smaller group than when they left. It was not the strong, nor the rich, nor the influential that survived, those that remained were those who were faithful and humble before the Lord.
Is this an analogy? Again, hard to think that it’s not. As we go through our own personal journey, we have to remove from ourselves those which are not pleasing to the Lord. We bring a lot of baggage from our old selves when we were still slaves to sin. As we journey – and it’s going to be through deserts and dangerous territory – God will reveal these sinful tendencies in us, and will help us remove it. Because we are not built to withstand this purging, left to ourselves we would either give up or die in the process. So God has made the way – Jesus, raised up on the cross. That if we only just look to him and believe in him, we will be healed.
Israel had some great victories after this event. They seem to be back on track again (yay!)
The journey continues…