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Category Archives: Numbers

John 3:14-15

14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

John 3:14-15

Dear God, I love this story and the whole context. Nicodemus is earnestly asking Jesus questions that he has, and Jesus is being pretty blunt with him. Of course, the next verse of this passage is possibly the most quoted New Testament verse–John 3:16, but the linking of Jesus’s analogy to the story in Numbers 21 about the Israelites being saved in the wilderness is really poignant.

I remember preaching on these passages a couple of years ago and thinking about the crosses (Protestant churches) or crucifixes (Catholic churches) that churches display in their congregations. There are some churches that even put the cross/crucifix on the top of a staff and carry them through the church. After going through that, it’s caused me to always think about this whenever I see a cross in a church–especially when carried on a staff for everyone to see. I think about how I need you to save me from myself. I need you to rescue me from my sin. I need Jesus and everything he did to free me.

Father, I need you today. I need Jesus’s rescue of me today. I need you to cover me and save me from myself. I can be so myopic in my attitudes. I can fall into self-pity. I can be selfish with my agenda. I can be lazy. I’m sorry for all of it. Be glorified through my life as I submit to you. Help me to completely submit to you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2021 in John, Numbers

 

Numbers 21:4-9

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Seac]”>[c] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.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!
Numbers 21:4-9

Dear God, 16 year and one week ago I left a stable job for the unknown. It was a scary decision, but one I felt literally called by you to make. It started a long hard process and nearly three years of unstable employment and money flow, fear in how I would earn a living, damage to my self-confidence, and strain on my family and my marriage. My wife and I have often said that if we had known how hard the next three years would be we wouldn’t have done it. I am convinced that’s why you keep us ignorant about the future. I came up with a line at the time, “God keeps me on a need-to-know basis, and I very rarely need to know.” I also came up with the line, “There’s a fine line between living by faith and living in denial.”

I think the same can be said of the Israelites. If they had know what was in front of them they might never have left Egypt. But you used those trials to make them stronger and to build their faith, just like you used those trials in 2003-2005 to make me stronger in you and build my faith.

One of the hard things as a parent is to allow your child to struggle through a trial. I remember talking to my dad after all of the unemployments were over and he told me, “You have no idea how hard it was to not just send you money sometimes.” I got that and I appreciate that he didn’t short circuit the lessons you were trying to teach me. Now, as a father of children who are out of the home, it is my turn to find that line between allowing my children to work out their own challenges so that they can grow as adults and in you, and when they need their dad to step in.

Father, thank you that you very rarely let me in on what the future holds. Thank you that you allow us to struggle. Thank you that you do everything just the way you do it. There are times it frustrates me, I must confess, but I can almost always see, in retrospect, what you were doing, and that what you were doing was good.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Numbers, Uncategorized