Cursing Blessings

Numbers 21:4–9; Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22; Ephesians 2:1–10; John 3:14–21

One of the biggest dangers of constant s is that we often disdain them. We become so accustomed to them that we become blind to them. Even worse, we then grow to despise them.

The Israelites were in the middle of the desert. They were being sustained by the hand of God. Instead of looking at the and the miracle that they were experiencing. they instead wanted to go back to slavery. The rejection of the and the rejection of protection.

The interplay between the Israelites, Moses, and God is interesting. The consequence? Poisonous snakes. The response? We were wrong. The directive? Make a snake statue. The result? Get bit, look at the snake, and live. However, if the Israelites were really sorry, would the snakes have remained?

One could argue that the snakes were an ongoing consequence. However, as the snakes were a consequence of bad behavior, it also can be concluded that the Israelite really didn’t have a change of heart, but a desire to avoid the consequences. Yes, it is a stretch assumption from the Scriptures, but it certainly isn’t in regard to human behavior.

Paul’s notes such about how all of us followed the ways of destruction before coming to Jesus, and that all those who do not yet know Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior still have that tendancy (i.e., spirit). We all are better than we were (just being aware puts us in a slightly better position), but we all have struggles and issues that we are dealing with as we strive to be more like Jesus.

The biggest struggle though for Western Christians are the s that they despise. One of the biggest has been Christianity. This applies both with those who despised Christianity by doing ill in its name, and for those who took Christianity for granted and did not put the effort in to pass on the faith (or care to learn it). In addition, there has become the human arrogance of where people begin to assume it’s God’s on their ways, rather than God’s s so as to be shared with others.

The s then become d, which is certainly not what God wanted it to be for us. We became sucked into the world’s desire for more and more . That pursuit of becomes -dealing.

The promise of , and not just a worldly , has always been part of the pull to follow God. Paul emphasizes that salvation and new cannot be earned. Only God can grant it. Only God can gift it.

Worldly , such as the the bronze serpant represented, still ends in . It is the found in the cross lifted up that is everlasting.

※Reflection※

  • Can you, have you, counted your s?
  • Have you ever taken any of your s for granted?
  • Have you ever looked at a and thought it was actually a ?

※Prayer※

Lord, help us to remember your s and the you have given us. Amen.