Almighty God, we Your people have constantly rebelled against You, constantly grumbled, constantly turned within ourselves seeking our own salvation. But You, in Your great mercy, constantly pursue us, constantly forgive us, and constantly work great wonders to bring about our salvation. Continue to transform us into true children of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and the sanctifying Spirit. Amen.
Numbers 21:4-9 (The Message)
They set out from Mount Hor along the Red Sea Road, a detour around the land of Edom. The people became irritable and cross as they traveled. They spoke out against God and Moses: “Why did you drag us out of Egypt to die in this godforsaken country? No decent food, no water—we can’t stomach this stuff any longer.”
So GOD sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit them and many in Israel died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke out against GOD and you. Pray to GOD; ask him to take these snakes from us.”
Moses prayed for the people.
GOD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.”
So Moses made a snake of fiery copper and put it on top of a flagpole. Anyone bitten by a snake who then looked at the copper snake lived.
Psalm 107:17-22 (The Message)
Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life,
your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
You couldn’t stand the sight of food,
so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead.
Then you called out to GOD in your desperate condition;
he got you out in the nick of time.
He spoke the word that healed you,
that pulled you back from the brink of death.
So thank GOD for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
tell the world what he’s done—sing it out!
Do we think his mercy through the snake is wondrous? It is only the foretaste, the type, of a yet greater mercy whose wonders we can’t begin to fathom. -Brian Rhea