1. Numbers 21:8-9 KJV, "8 And [Yahowah] said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
2. The fiery serpent, made of brass (thus the name "brazen serpent"), represents the people's sin. The sin of idolatry is most evident, because this metal pole is an idol and later was used as such in 2 Kings 18:4, and was destroyed. But it also represents the people's sins in general, all of their sins. God was instructing the people to look at their sin. And if they will look at their sin, they can acknowledge their sin; and if they can acknowledge their sin, they can repent of their sin; and if they can repent of their sin, He can heal (forgive) them of their sin. But you, the man or woman, must take action in order for God to do His work that you cannot do. You must look, acknowledge, repent, and believe (have faith) that God will forgive you and preserve your life. This is not a works salvation. This is a salvation of the heart, a salvation of your soul, a deep penetrating into your very spirit, so that your sin is exposed and it shows Yahowah that you truly have a desire to change and to live. And if you display these attributes, these characteristics, these heart felt actions of repentance, this longing to be with Him, showing that you love Him and no longer love your sin, then He will turn and heal you and grant salvation to you.
3.a. Yahoshua was made sin for us. This is stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The serpent of brass in Numbers 21:8-9 represented the people's sin. And at the crucifixion, when Yahoshua was lifted up, He represented sin. God wants everyone to look at His Son, Yahoshua; believe in Him and what He taught; and thereby be motivated to acknowledge their sin; and thus repent of their sin. If they will do this - believe in Christ, believe that His Blood sacrifice washes our sins away, and repent of their sin - Christ's sacrifice on the execution stake will heal them of their sin. In others words He will forgive you of your sin and heal your soul from the consequences of your sin. But you, the man or woman, must take action in order for God to do His work that you cannot do. You must look, acknowledge, repent, and believe (have faith) that God will forgive you and preserve your life.
3.b. Do not forget, however, that this faith does not come from you. Your faith comes from God, He provides it for you. However, if you ignore and shun this gift of faith; if you fail to use that faith; if you fail to believe in Christ and His Blood sacrifice by faith; then there is left no other sacrifice for you and you will remain in your sin, die in your sin, and spend eternity separated from God. Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV, "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
4. John 3:14-15 KJV, "14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 12:32 KJV, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
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The Brazen Serpent, Sin and Healing
by Sandy Mauck
Numbers 21:5-9 KJV, "5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And [Yahowah] sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against [Yahowah], and against thee; pray unto [Yahowah], that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And [Yahowah] said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
The Hebrews in the wilderness spent years complaining and whining and being angry at God for not making their lives better and giving them what they wanted. In verse 5 they whined that they were going to die in the wilderness again and they complained about the manna God had provided. That is a lesson all in itself but let’s go on.
In verse 5 the people sinned greatly against God, who had always provided for them.
Now in verse 6 God is angry and he sends serpents as a judgment and they bit the people and many died.
Because the people had made the decision a long time ago to not talk to God themselves but to go to Moses, they went to Moses to repent in verse 7. Then Moses prayed for the people.
In verse 8, God told Moses what to do. And in verse 9 Moses made a serpent of brass (copper ore mixture). Then put it on a pole and whoever looked upon it lived.
So what happened here is a pattern. There is :
1. Sin - We all sin against God
2. Judgment - We are destined for death
3. Repentance - We come asking for mercy to Yahoshua
4. Prayer - Yahoshua intercedes for us
5. Obedience - We obey God by looking at our sin!
6. Deliverance - We are delivered because Yahoshua paid it all by dying for our sin on a pole being lifted up.
The serpent is a sign of sin from clear back in the Garden of Eden. When Yahoshua died, He took our sin on Him and that sin has been paid for. But as we walk this walk we will sin and the more you learn the word of God you will understand what is meant by sin. And when the Holy Spirit comes to show us our sin we must LOOK at it so that we can see it, repent and be healed and hopefully not do it again.
Man does not like to LOOK at his sin. We fight it because of Pride. We don't want to think we are wrong or did anything wrong. But there is a death sentence on sin so we must chose life, look at our sin for what evil it is to God and repent and be healed and delivered!