Medicine for the Sick


Numbers 21:9 (ESV)
“So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”

I’ve found that reading through the Old Testament with a focus on how these Scriptures point to Christ to be a very rewarding way to study. In Numbers 21:9, Moses was instructed by God to place a serpent on a pole and for those who were bitten, if they looked upon the serpent, they would live. Here God has punished Israel for their sin, but in His everlasting grace, provided a way of redemption. A clear allusion to what Jesus stated in John 3:14. If we will only call upon (believe in) the One lifted up, we will be healed as well. 

When we allow the evil in our hearts to turn us away from God, we can expect to find the Ancient Serpent to aid us in our rebellion. While he may not have us forevermore, he can certainly do everything in his power to weaken our witness for his Conqueror.

In our study verse above, the Lord had sent fiery serpents among them due to continued grumblings from among the people (Numbers 21:4). Many were bitten, and some died. The Lord used these serpents to “assist” the people of Israel to recognize their unfaithfulness and to repent from their wickedness.

The pole was not lifted up for those who had no need of healing—but only for those bitten. It wasn’t simply because the serpents were among them that the pole was raised, but for providing a path of redemption and healing.

Many walk the earth spiritually blind of the need for the healing of Christ, while many others feel they are too far gone to believe Christ could or would heal them. It’s a common misconception that we must first get ourselves “right” before we can seek salvation; that we must be “good” and that we must already possess a spiritually sound body prior to accepting Christ and His mercy. This, however, goes completely against what the Bible teaches.

God’s medicine is for the sick and His healing is for the diseased. The grace of God through the sacrifice of Christ is for people who are really and truly guilty. Too often are those who sit in pews and simply compare their lives to others to make themselves feel good and thus, see no need to gaze upon the serpent pole. They are as spiritually blind as the unbelievers who will face God’s Wrath on Judgment day.

If you cannot recognize how poisoned you are of sin, you will see no need for Christ. Only those who recognize their brokenness, whose lives are in turmoil, and see their pending condemnation coming quickly, will come to understand that only He who was lifted up on the cross at Calvary can purge the poison from their earthly existence.

Fix your eyes upon Him. If you have not yet accepted His medicine, make today the day you begin to heal.