Summary: All that we have and all we know come to us from our God and so many of us are ungrateful for it. In fact we are impatient for more.
Our God is a patient God.
By that I mean that our Heavenly Father is waiting for sinners to come to Him through repentance.
God does not force us in front of His throne.
We are not dragged there by heavenly soldiers to face the consequence of our guilt.
We are left to consider God’s love, mercy and forgiveness as we live out our lives.
It is by living out our lives that the love of God should become obvious to us.
Once it is obvious to us we should then respond to His love, mercy and forgiveness in an appropriate way.
That way is the cross of Jesus Christ.
It is the only way held out to all mankind for the forgiveness of sins.
Acts 4:12 NIV
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
This eternal fact is a very real and present problem for our multi-cultural, religiously pluralist world.
Our world has rejected this truth to its very great loss and as a result there will be consequences.
Those consequences may make themselves very obvious to our fallen world in our life time.
We continue to wait and watch and warn the world of God’s coming wrath.
But the world seems deaf to these warnings.
Today we remember the Bible passage concerning the children Israel as they wondered in the desert for 40 years waiting to be brought into the Promised Land.
The Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land would normally have only taken about 250 kilometers or about a month on foot.
When they arrived at the border of the Promised Land the first time 10 out of 12 of the men who were sent by Moses decided it was more than they could handle.
They were afraid and lacked faith.
They did not believe that God would help them defeat such a great enemy.
Yet God had delivered them from Egypt with a mighty hand through the Red Sea as Pharaohs army drowned chasing them.
How soon we forget God’s saving power.
For this lack of faith Israel would be punished by wondering for 40 years in the desert until that unbelieving generation died off.
Well here we are in today’s nearly 40 years later as Israel once again is approaching the border of the Promised Land.
Nearly everyone alive in this throng was born in the desert during the 40 years of wondering and nearly all the unbelieving generation has died off.
You would think it would be a slam dunk for Moses to lead them to the edge of the Promise Land this time but that is not the case.
Collectively they decide they have had enough and start to murmur against God and Moses for their situation.
Their situation was that God had fed them day and night and clothed them for forty years but they were ungrateful and impatient.
They were tired of waiting – the Bible says they were impatient. Numbers 21:4
Have you ever caught yourself doing this?
Murmuring against God, blaming God for the state of affairs that is your life?
Have you ever complained the God was not moving fast enough for your liking?
Well friends this message reminds us that even God has a limit to His patience.
God hears these complaints and criticisms against Himself and Moses the leader of His people and God responds.
God sends poisonous snakes into the camps of the Israelites and as a result many are bitten and die.
So many die that those who are left alive come to Moses and ask for God’s help.
Again it has taken death to remind them how precious life truly is and who it is that sustains our life.
Now they acknowledge their sin and confess it and ask Moses to pray to God for them.
Moses prays and the Lord instructs Moses to make a bronze snake and to stick on top of a pole.
Anyone who has been bitten can then look at this object and be healed.
It works, the people stop dying and now Moses can continue the journey to the Promised Land.
Saints, we are those faithless people of the desert wondering aimlessly in our lives when we murmur and sin against God.
All that we have and all we know come to us from our God and so many of us are ungrateful for it.
In fact we are impatient for more.
We as the Church, the Bride of Christ have been promised far greater things but still we murmur.
We show our lack of faith when we don’t not look up to the cross on which our Saviour was crucified.