Now I don’t know a lot about your journey with God but as for me, I see a parallel between the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness and my own journey through my Christian walk.

Based upon Numbers 21:1-5

When Arad (wild ass) was conquered. That was me alright.

They went by Way of Atharim.  (by way of the spies.) This is kind of like peer pressure. Somebody else went first. I just followed like a sheep.

The Israelites utterly destroyed the Canaanites (International Traders). I was a graduate of the school of “everybody is doing it.”

So they called the place Hormah (Devoted to Destruction) I didn’t know it at the time but I was on the wrong path. Not that Christianity was wrong but my approach to it.

Then they “set out” from Mt Hor (mountain) by way of the Red Sea, to go to the land of Edom. (Red) Edom was the land of Esau. Esau means “Doer”. This is the part of the journey where I was determined to climb the mountain of salvation by doing all I could for Christ. I was leader of the youth group, volunteered at the local nursing home, read my bible, said my prayers, you know the drill. Remember red is a very “visible” color. It can be seen from far away. It means STOP look at me.

Based upon Numbers 21:6-9

Right about now in the trip the Israelites get miffed at Moses about the food and water situation and the LORD sent “fiery serpents” among the people and they bit the people, so many people died. It says in the notes of my NIV version: God used venomous snakes to punish the people for their unbelief and complaining.

The people came to Moses (He Who Draws Out)  and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

As a new Christian when I got into trouble I went right to my pastor for prayer. A pastor draws us out of the world and into the kingdom of God.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

This is where the symbol for doctors came from.  Doctors are called in when you are physically sick. Pastors are called in when you are spiritually sick. The note in my NIV says When the bronze snake was hung on the pole, the Israelites didn’t know the fuller meaning Jesus Christ would bring to this event. Jesus explained that just as the Israelites were healed of their sickness by looking at the snake on the pole, all believers today can be saved from the sickness of sin by looking to Jesus’ death on the cross.

They traveled to Oboth (Dragons) and camped at Iye-abraim (Ruins of crossing over) in the wilderness which is opposite Moab (of his father), to the east. I don’t know about you but it seemed to me as a new Christian the Devil (Dragon) attacked me even harder whenever I tried to do what I thought was the Christian thing to do. When I tried to change myself I would see my old life (ruins of crossing over) and think about how easy it was before I was saved just like the Israelites thought when they remembered Egypt. They had all the food and water (fun and folly) they wanted there. Going back is not an option but the “opposite Moab” (of his father). I had a new Daddy (ABBA).

From there they “set out” and camped in Wadi Zered (Valley of Luxuriant Growth of Trees) It took 38 years to get from the beginning to Wadi Zered which is also called the valley of Willows. Willows have deep roots. Deep roots imply deep waters. The rivers of living waters are in the hearts of every believer. (Holy Spirit) Remember Jesus said to the woman at the well, “if you would have asked me I would have given you living waters.”

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

 

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