6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: God tries to give us the gold. We tend to want the brass.

2 Kings 18:4 (KJV)

4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

Nehushtan = “a thing of brass”

This was the serpent that God had Moses make at the time of, yet again, the complaining of the Israelites. They were complaining of the direction they were traveling, Moses being ruler over them and lack of water. They were also complaining about the manna that God gave them to eat every day. As a result God sent a judgment of serpents to chastise the people.

When enough of the people were bitten, they realized that they had messed up. They went to Moses to tell him of their sin against him and against God. They asked him to go to God and ask that the punishment be removed. Moses did so and God gave him instructions on what to do. Have a brass serpent made and place it on a pole and have it placed in the middle of camp. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake, began to put their attention on the serpent placed in the middle of camp they did not die. (Numbers 21:4-9 KJV)

This in itself is not a problem. But the text from 2 Kings says that in the course of the years after that affair, something had gone wrong. People had begun to worship to the brazen serpent. They were burning incense to it. The item had to go.

The people had forgotten why the brass serpent came to be in the first place. As a way of keeping the punishment of death from taking place. Their eyes had gone from the creator to something created. By doing that can cause problems that we may not see coming.

That is what happens to many of us during the week. We go to church on Sundays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays and give God everything we have. Then as the other days hit we tend to give him far less. That is not to say we don’t try or that all of us do this. But humans being humans, we tend to forget the most important thing when we “don’t” have to.

We promise that we are going to get up early and do a devotion in the morning. Or we are going to stay up later and do it. But the next morning comes and we grab the paper instead of the Bible. We turn on the TV to our favorite news program. Or the day was just to stressful, but tomorrow morning we will get the devotion done. But God gets pushed to the back burner. Then when we do take the time to spend with God, we try to cram it all in to one sitting. Then we get overwhelmed and tend to give up this time.

Peter had a similar problem. But let me first defend him. At least he got out of the boat and did what Jesus was doing. The other eleven disciples did not. Matthew 14:22 (KJV)

Matthew 14:22-33 (KJV)

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Peter had taken his eyes off Jesus and began to sink into the water. He allowed the waves and the wind to take his focus off of where it belonged.

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