May 23 – Afraid of Snakes? – Numbers 21:4-9

In this passage we find the Israelites once again complaining to Moses and to God.  They question the motive of Moses and God.  They question the provision of Moses and God.  Why were they so quick to become unfaithful to God?  Have they so soon forgotten the quail, Miriam’s leprosy, the plague, water from the rock, or Korah’s demise that they complain against God for their circumstances?  The answer is quite simple.  In verse 4 it states “the soul of the people was much discouraged.”  When we are discouraged, we are apt to make our biggest mistakes.  The old devil sees when we get discouraged and will throw everything he has to get us to become ineffective for Christ.  Why were the people discouraged?  They were discouraged “because of the way.”  They were tired.  They saw little to no hope.  Their circumstances were difficult to navigate.  All of these combined to make a perfect scenario for discouragement.  Let us guard against discouragement in our lives.  When you are tired; make sure you keep the promised hope of Christ before your eyes.  When circumstances are difficult; take precautions to maintain your body and strength, whether vitamins, exercise, eating right, enough sleep, or a combination of these.  Don’t allow all these things to accumulate to drive you to discouragement.  Having said that, everyone will get discouraged once in awhile.  When you do, do not allow yourself to make poor decisions.  God rewarded the Israelites poor choice of decision by sending poisonous snakes.  Snakes were found everywhere you could imagine.  Much of Israel died from the poisonous snake bites.  Even in their punishment, God made a way of relief and escape for them.  Even though the people had disappointed God, God loved them.  No matter in what way you may disappoint God, He still loves you!