Today’s Scripture: 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. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Numbers 21:5-6

God delivered His people from Egypt to save them, not to kill them. He was bringing them into the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet all they could do was complain about everything. So, God sent fiery serpents that bit the people and many died.

Some might ask, “What kind of a God would do that?” Sometimes God will give us what we deserve. He is a God of grace, and those who have put their faith in Christ are going to Heaven. Sometimes though, He must chasten us like a good parent will chasten their child. Good parents don’t let their kids act like brats, doing anything they want to do. They will destroy themselves, and they will destroy other people.

With us, sometimes God has to say, “Enough is enough.” He had to do just that with the children of Israel. He sent the fiery serpents and they began biting people. All around the camp, people were dying. There was the cry of men, women and children wracked with the fiery torture of this snakebite. None were able to save themselves. None were able to save each other. It was a terrible situation.

What was the solution? It was the same as it is today. We must recognize the problem – we have sinned. We must ask the Lord to do something for us.

Some people look to science and medicine for the remedy; they look for a human answer. Some even look to self-reformation or religion, thinking that rituals or prayer will work. No institute or institution will help. We have a problem, and that problem is that the wages of sin is death. The only cure is found in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.