Impatient Along The Way
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” 6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses 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. (Numbers 21:4-7)
8 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.” 9 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. (Numbers 21:8-9)
“But the people grew impatient on the way;” the text says, it does specifically attribute their sin as impatience that led to speaking against the Lord and complaining about His provision.
That is often just as much a temptation in waiting as doubt could be. Sometimes the will of God leads us through uncomfortable places to get us to better places. That calls for us to have patience. Faith is often the test of believing God to bring us out of a trial, yet patience is the power to wait well while in a trial.
The people were showing ingratitude toward how God had been at least providing food. Yeah it got old for them after a while, the mana, but it kept them from starving to death. If they had by faith obeyed God when He opened to door to go possess the promise land to begin with, and not shrink back in fear of “Giants”
Then they would have been the generation that had entered the promise land and would not have been sentenced to wander 40 years in the desert.
Yet the desert became their lot because of unbelief and that was why they had so long been eating mana to begin with.
Through unbelief and impatience we too can keep our own selves back from good God would give us if we only faithfully wholeheartedly obey. Unbelief will keep an unbeliever in a desert and they may never see the good God would do in their life because they are grumbling and living in their doubts and sin.
They have not turned to embrace the Savior who was lifted up onto a cross, just as the bronze snake was lifted up to take away the Israelites guilt in Moses’s time. The grumblers here in numbers were bitten by literal snakes, yet the unbeliever is envenomated by the Serpent of Old, their souls suck up deadly poison and lies. They are sick, dying in their ways of sin yet Christ says “Look to me”
Many in Israel died as a result of these snake bites. Perhaps some even after the bronze snake had been made, refused to humble themselves and look on the bronze snake the God had Moses lift up.
There is something so sinister about pride that it will often hold a person back from repentance even as they are dying. Pride might say “God, kill me, you won’t break my stubborn will, I will die before I serve you.” And indeed some will I am afraid, because the proud heart will suffer terrible pain and often still be unyielding and obstinate.
Is this you reader? Are you sorely deceived into rather suffering much for sin just to be in control and feel right? You will forfeit so much, God’s kindness, goodness and mercy. Is the pleasure of having your pride that great that you will suffer loss of much in this life as well as lose your soul in hell? Is it worth it?
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” (Jonah 2:7-9)
Humble yourself, be saved! Receive the love of Christ and forgiveness you can never earn. The choice is your’s but you surely won’t regret the latter, but will be doomed if you hold fast to the former.
Impatient Along The Way