I guess we have been complaining against God from the beginning of our existence as a people of God. Today’s passage from Numbers 21:4-9 tell of God’s people, whom he has just saved from slavery, complaining that they were disgusted with the wretched food God had given them and no water in the desert. Aren’t we all complainers somewhat when we don’t get our way? It was time to learn a lesson from our God who provides us with everything we need out of love for us.
The Lord sent saraph serpents which bit the people and many of them died. Fortunately, the people came to their senses and scripture tells us; Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.”
There is a kind of parallel that I see from this passage to my own life. When I complain or maybe more like when I choose my will over God’s will, I get bitten. I am bitten by my sin. Fortunately, when I come to my senses, by the Grace of God, I need not look to a mounted saraph but to someone else who is mounted, Jesus Christ on a cross. He suffered and died for my choice of me over him. And on that cross he spoke about me saying, forgive him Father for he does not know what he is doing.
In today’s Gospel from John, Jesus also told the Jews; “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” And he was lifted up on that cross and today we know I AM to be Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you. And I beg pardon for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you. Lord have mercy on us. Amen.