Numbers 21:4-9 Salvation: A Hissy Fit to Remember

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Imagine being saved by looking at a bronze snake on a stick. It’s like the ancient version of “Just Google it.” Need salvation? There’s an app for that. Just don’t expect to find Bronze Serpent on your local App Store.

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Dear beloved congregation,

With hearts filled with gratitude and joy, we gather once again in the presence of our Almighty God. It is a privilege to come together as a community of faith, to seek His guidance, grow in His Word, and to support one another on our journey of discipleship. May each moment we spend together today be blessed with the grace and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father,

We humbly bow before Your throne of grace, acknowledging Your sovereignty and goodness in our lives. As we embark on this time of fellowship and learning, we invite Your Holy Spirit to dwell among us, illuminating our hearts and minds with Your truth. Grant us the strength and discernment to apply Your teachings to our lives, and may Your name be glorified in all that we do. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Introduction to Scripture

Journey Through the Wilderness

In the book of Numbers, we find the Israelites journeying through the wilderness, a period marked by both trials and triumphs. As they traveled, they encountered various challenges, testing their faith and resolve. In Numbers 21:4-9, we witness one such moment of testing, where the Israelites grumble against God and Moses, leading to divine intervention and a profound lesson in obedience and trust.

NIV Bible Verse: Numbers 21:4-9

Numbers 21:4-9 (NIV): 4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;
5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.
7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.


Intercessory Prayer

Gracious God,

In reflecting upon the passage from Numbers 21:4-9, we are reminded of the consequences of disobedience and the abundance of Your mercy. Just as You provided a means of healing for the Israelites when they repented, we ask for Your grace to be poured out upon us today. Forgive us, Lord, for our moments of doubt and complaint. Grant us the wisdom to recognize Your sovereignty in all circumstances and the faith to trust in Your provision. In times of trial and temptation, may we turn to You in repentance and find healing and restoration in Your loving arms. Amen.

Congregational Response

Congregation: Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy and grace. Help us to trust in Your provision and obey Your commands. Amen.

Sermon Introduction

My dear brothers and sisters,

Today, we embark on a journey through the pages of Scripture to explore a pivotal moment in the history of God’s people. As we delve into Numbers 21:4-9, we are transported to a time when the Israelites found themselves wandering in the wilderness, grappling with challenges that tested their faith and obedience. This passage serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities of our own spiritual journey and the unwavering faithfulness of our God, even in the midst of adversity.

Setting the Scene Socially and Historically

In the historical context of Numbers 21:4-9, we find the Israelites traversing the wilderness following their exodus from Egypt. Despite witnessing miraculous displays of God’s power and provision, they often succumbed to doubt and discontentment, longing for the comforts of their former life. This particular event unfolds against the backdrop of their grumbling and dissatisfaction, culminating in a divine response that not only addresses their immediate need for deliverance but also carries profound implications for generations to come.

Today, socially and historically, we can draw parallels between the Israelites’ journey and our own pilgrimage of faith. Like them, we encounter seasons of uncertainty and adversity, where our faith is tested and our resolve is shaken. Yet, amidst the challenges of life, we are reminded of the enduring truth that God remains faithful to His promises and is ever-present in our struggles.

Sermon Title: “From Grumbling to Grace a Lessons in Trust”

Sermon Outline

I. Grumbling in the Wilderness (Numbers 21:4-5)

  • Impatience on the Journey
  • Voicing Complaints Against God and His Provision

II. Consequences of Disobedience (Numbers 21:6)

  • Divine Intervention in Response to Sin
  • Understanding the Severity of Consequences

III. The Path to Healing and Restoration (Numbers 21:7-9)

  • Acknowledgment of Sin and Repentance
  • God’s Provision of Salvation and Deliverance

Through our exploration of this passage, may we glean insights into the transformative power of obedience and trust in our walk with the Lord. Let us open our hearts to receive God’s Word and allow it to shape and mold us into faithful disciples, ever-growing in our love and devotion to Him.

I. Grumbling in the Wilderness (Numbers 21:4-5)

In this first section, we witness the Israelites succumbing to impatience and discontentment during their journey through the wilderness. Despite experiencing God’s miraculous provision and guidance, they allowed their immediate circumstances to overshadow their faith. Their grumbling serves as a sobering reminder of the tendency within all of us to focus on our present challenges rather than trusting in God’s promises for the future.

As we reflect on this passage, we must ask ourselves: Are there areas in our lives where we are prone to grumble and complain when faced with adversity? Instead of allowing our circumstances to dictate our attitudes, let us cultivate hearts of gratitude and trust in God’s faithfulness.

II. Consequences of Disobedience (Numbers 21:6)

Here, we confront the sobering reality of sin and its consequences. The Israelites’ disobedience led to divine intervention in the form of venomous snakes, resulting in suffering and death among the people. This serves as a stark reminder of the seriousness of sin and the inevitable repercussions that follow when we stray from God’s will.

As we examine our own lives, we must consider: What areas of disobedience am I harboring in my heart? Let us not underestimate the gravity of sin but instead, seek repentance and restoration through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

III. The Path to Healing and Restoration (Numbers 21:7-9)

In the final section, we witness the merciful response of God to His repentant people. Despite their rebellion, God provides a way for their salvation and deliverance. Through the simple act of looking upon the bronze snake, the Israelites found healing and restoration, demonstrating God’s unwavering love and compassion.

As we contemplate this passage, let us consider: What steps am I willing to take towards repentance and restoration in my relationship with God? May we humbly turn to Him in confession and faith, trusting in His provision for our redemption and renewal.

Personal Thoughts

As I meditate on this passage, I am struck by the profound grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father. Despite our shortcomings and failures, He remains steadfast in His love for us, always ready to extend forgiveness and restoration. May we never lose sight of the incredible gift of salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ, and may we respond with hearts of gratitude and obedience.

Personal Commentary

In the context of Christian discipleship, this passage serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of steadfast faith and obedience. Just as the Israelites faced trials and temptations in the wilderness, we too encounter challenges on our journey of discipleship. Yet, it is in those moments of testing that our commitment to following Christ is truly revealed. Let us strive to emulate the faithfulness of those who have gone before us, remaining steadfast in our devotion to the Lord.

Personal Reflection Commentary

In considering the theme of spiritual growth, this passage highlights the transformative power of repentance and trust in God’s provision. Just as the Israelites found healing and restoration through their obedience, we too can experience growth and maturity in our walk with the Lord. May we continually surrender our lives to His guidance and direction, allowing Him to shape and mold us into the likeness of Christ.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our reflection on Numbers 21:4-9, let us be reminded of the timeless truths contained within this passage. It serves as a powerful testament to the faithfulness of God, even in the midst of our failures and shortcomings. Moving forward in our Christian lives, let us strive to cultivate hearts of gratitude, obedience, and trust in God’s provision. May we resist the temptation to grumble and complain when faced with adversity, instead choosing to lean on the promises of our Heavenly Father. Let us humbly acknowledge our sins and shortcomings, seeking repentance and restoration through the grace of Jesus Christ. May we walk boldly in the path of discipleship, ever-growing in our love and devotion to our Lord and Savior.

Moving Forward in our Christian Lives

  1. Cultivate Gratitude: Develop a habit of gratitude, recognizing God’s provision and faithfulness in every circumstance.
  2. Practice Obedience: Commit to obeying God’s commands and trusting in His guidance, even when faced with challenges.
  3. Seek Repentance: Regularly examine your heart and actions, confessing sins and seeking forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
  4. Embrace Growth: Be open to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in your life, allowing Him to mold you into the likeness of Christ.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father,

As we depart from this time of reflection and worship, we are filled with gratitude for Your faithfulness and grace. May the lessons we have learned from Your Word resonate deeply within our hearts, guiding us in our journey of faith. Grant us the strength to walk in obedience and trust, even amidst the trials and temptations of life. Help us to continually seek Your face, knowing that in Your presence, there is fullness of joy. Bless us, Lord, as we go forth from this place, empowered by Your Spirit to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. In His precious name, we pray.



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