Summary: We have all been poisoned with the venom of the serpent’s bite. There is only one cure. You must have the right anti-venom.
The Anti –Venom for the Serpent’s bite
Intro: My first experience deer hunting in the woods of Florida I had just walked down a path in the woods when no sooner than I heard a shotgun blast behind. I ran back down the path about 25 yards to where I was just walking and there was a hunter looking a at a 5 foot rattlesnake still moving on the ground! Made me nervous to think that thing was lying under a palmetto bush that I just had walked inches away from. I don’t like snakes in my mind anyone normal doesn’t like them either!
Everyone had to carry snakebite kit with them. Inside along with a razor and a tourniquet was anti venom. If bitten you had to quickly suck the poison out and pour in the anti-venom. Anyone here ever been bitten by poisonous snake? The bite won’t kill you but poison will.
Here written just before the most famous verse in the world is a scripture about a snake. Jesus is trying to use metaphors (pictures) to help a religious leader understand his need to have a born again experience by the Spirit of God. He relates by telling him of the time Israel was living in the wilderness. Let me take you there as well.
Numbers 21:4-9. Here we begin to see the mysteries of the kingdom.
I. THE PEOPLE IN THE WILDERNESS ARE LIKE US.
These are people who have experienced some great miracles from God. They have had some awesome life experiences. Yet, here they are living in the wilderness.
A. The wilderness represents living life separated from God.
1. Dryness is in the wilderness of the desert. Spiritually too, they were very dry. Been a while since experienced closeness to God.
2. Discouragement happens a lot in the wilderness.
3. Discontent happens in the wilderness- griping over manna God had provided.
B. God sent serpents- not to hurt but to get them to move from where they were back to trusting in Him. God may have to hurt you in order to help you!
1. Surrounded by serpents- no escape. Ill. When you become parent do you remember the awesome feeling of how you must protect this precious child from all the dangers and wickedness in the world? You want to protect your child from the serpents, but you are surrounded!
2. Their bite was like fire in your blood – painful.
3. Once bitten you became thirsty – but nothing can quench the thirst. Isn’t that a picture of sin?
4. You start dying the moment you are bitten. You don’t know how long it will be, hours or years. But the serpent’s poison is in your veins.
C. Only two alternatives:
1. Either lie down and die like most – ignore the condition, don’t believe it will happen to you. This is the condition of the masses today. The serpent has bitten them!
2. Recognize the condition and reach for the cure. There is only one anti-venom.
II. THE ONLY REMEDY – ANTI-VENOM see Numbers 21:8-9
A. Look upon the serpent in faith and live.
On brass pole was “likeness” of a serpent. What was the original problem became the cure!
Romans 8:3 “…God sending His own Son in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh, …”
2 Cor. 5:21 “For He MADE Him to be sin for us…”
Phil. 2:7-8 Jesus was made into the “LIKENESS of men: and being found in the fashion of as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Gal. 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being MADE a curse for us…”
Many laughed when heard Moses say the cure was to look at this serpent on a pole! Ridiculous! “Why all the physicians with all their skills could not find a cure, what would a serpent on a pole do? Serpents are the problem, how can they be the cure?”
In the same way Man brought sin into the world through one man, Adam. So how can God us man to be the cure? Read Romans 5:18-19 Living Bible or CEV.
It seems foolish. “But the preaching of the cross is foolishness unto to them that perish, but unto us who are saved it is our life!”
We who are saved by trusting in Jesus death on the cross have tried the world’s physicians to try and cure the serpent’s poison. WE tried self help books, we tried making money, we tried sex, drugs, alcohol, we tried positive thinking, we tried counseling and shedding tears and NOTHING could take away the pain of the poison in our veins! The hymn writer tried it all too when he wrote;
Could my zeal no respite know