Readings: Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:13-15
Memory Verses: Romans 3:23; John 3:14-15
Prayer: Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things from out of thy law (Psalm 119:18).
Questions and Comments
- In which book of the ‘Taurah’ is this historical account of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness found?
- Which prophet is mentioned in this passage? (He is known by some as Kalim Ullah – the converser with God (Exodus 33:11).
- This prophet and his community were traveling from Egypt through the wilderness to a land promised them by God. The community was made up of twelve tribes and in each tribe there were groups of families. They were all people who worshipped one God, fasted, prayed and gave alms. However, their hearts were not always pure. What proof is there of their sin in:
- What evidence is there in this passage of the people's broken relationship with God, and with his prophet, and of their lack of thankfulness to God and faith in him?
- How does the severity of God's punishment show the seriousness of the people's sin? (Numbers 21:6)
- How does God's remedy for their sin show his mercy? (Numbers 21:9)
- How was healing granted to everyone who was bitten by a snake? (Numbers 21:9)
- Who would not be healed?
- What would happen to anyone who was not healed?
- Was healing given through the brazen serpent or through faith in what God declared?
- God is great therefore he can choose how he saves people. What way did God choose for saving people according to:
- How was the brazen serpent later misused? (2 Kings 18:4)
- What can we learn from this for our situation, today?
- Could any one person look at the brazen serpent on behalf of another? (Numbers 21:9)
- What do we learn about intercession? (Numbers 21:7-8)
- How can we pray for others?
- How can others pray for us?
Note: Read John 3:13-15. To have first-hand information about heavenly things we must have been present with God in heaven when the decrees were made. No one has ever gone up into heaven who was there before except for the Son of Man who was present in heaven, came down to earth and after thirty three years returned to heaven. God's decree concerning the redemption of mankind is completely outside the range of man's knowledge until it is revealed to him. Jesus, the Son of Man, revealed God's plan and fulfilled it. Eventually he was lifted up on a cross to die and to become the sacrifice, atonement and offering for the poison of man's sin. In John 3:14 and elsewhere in John's gospel the Greek term ‘to be lifted up’ always refers to the cross. Look up John 8:28 and John 12:32,34. It is used in Acts 2:33 and Acts 5:31 with reference to Jesus' exaltation. The cross of Jesus is never isolated from his resurrection and ascension (Hebrews 2:9).
- In what ways are the two passages (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:13-15) related to each other?
- Who in the Bible is called "that ancient serpent"? (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 20:2).
- What do we call the first five books of the Bible?
- What is the name of God's prophet in Numbers 21?
- What is his special title? (Exodus 33:11)
- Is Numbers 21:4-9 about:
- A community?
- Were these people religious?
- Did they pray?
- Did they fast?
- From Numbers 21:4-9, what proof is there that sin is very serious? Give references together with your answers.
- What did sin do to relationships with God?
- What did sin do to relationships with God's prophet?
- Why was the punishment for sin so serious?
- God who is great can choose his own method to save his people: i.e. how did he save Noah and his family?
- How did he save people in Numbers 21:4-9?
- How did he save people after the death of Jesus the Messiah? (John 3:13-15)
- Sin is like poisonous venom from a snake. The remedy must be stronger than the poison. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What did Jesus do with the poison of our sin?
- Is Numbers 21:4-9 only about healing of the body?
- Is John 3:13-15 only about healing of the soul?
Read the last sentence of Isaiah 53:5.
Recite Romans 3:23 from memory.
Pray for your community, for your family and for yourself.