“And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Numbers 21:5.
Every sin is an act of rebellion. Every act of rebellion begins with dissatisfaction. To rebel is to challenge authority and demand for certain “privileges” which one feels deprived of. When Adam and Eve were tempted, Satan made them feel they were being deprived by God and God was preventing them from enjoying their full potentials.
Look at the words of the serpent: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.” Genesis 3:5-6.
The dissatisfaction of Adam and Eve is the same dissatisfaction that drives us to sin against God. For instance, when God says: “thou shall not steal, or bear false witness or thou shall not commit adultery,” we become dissatisfied with what rightfully belongs to us and begin to crave for more, we are no longer happy with telling the truth and we begin to regard bodily purity as worthless food, just as the Israelites called the manna worthless food.
This is the root of sin in our lives. We feel cheated, we feel God is so unfair in restricting us and keeping away pleasures of life from us. We start seeing God’s commandments as a burden rather than a blessing, a map and a guide to the best things God has prepared for us. We steal, we covert, we tell lies and so on just because we are never satisfied.
Dear friends, just as rebellion led to the death of many in Israel, sin destroys us. The fiery serpents God sent on the people represents what we incur on ourselves by being dissatisfied with God and his commandments! Dissatisfaction is a sign of lack of trust in God and its only reward is sorrow.
But then, that is not the end of the story. There is Good news. The people came to their senses and repented. They said to Moses: “We have sinned…!” They cried to God for mercy and he pitied them by asking Moses to make a bronze serpent as a SIGN. As powerful as the bronze serpent was, it remained only a sign.
The power behind that sign was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As he said in today’s Gospel passage “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he.” John 8:28.
Each time you look at the cross of Jesus, don’t just stare. Look with faith, look up and receive healing. We have so many fiery serpents biting us on every side, serpents we have brought on ourselves because of our sinfulness. We must look at the cross for healing, we must keep looking for direction, for wisdom and for freedom from the spirit of dissatisfaction.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, increase my trust in your love and provision for me. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent. Bible Study: Numbers 21:4-9 and John 8:21-30).*