Crystal Writes A Blog

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Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes by Flickr User purpletwinkie (Scott), CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Snake Eyes by Flickr User purpletwinkie (Scott), CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’m not a gambler, and I’ve never played craps, so I’m not certain about the significance of rolling two ones, but I’ve always heard that “snake eyes” was a bad thing. Having lived in the southwest, the kind of snake eyes that doesn’t show up on a roll of dice can definitely be a bad thing. Note: I typed the original version of this on my Kindle Fire from the hotel at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, so it didn’t have an image, tags, etc. I’m updating those things now that I’m home from that wonderful event.

In today’s reading from Numbers 21:6 through Numbers 21:20 the people get to deal with the truly scary kind of snake eyes. After yesterday with all of Israel’s whining and accusations against God and Moses, God decides He has had enough. He sends a bunch of poisonous snakes into the camp, and they bite and kill people until a group comes to confess that they were wrong to falsely accuse God and the leadership He has chosen for them.

In order to save the rest of those who have been bitten, God tells Moses to make a bronze replica of the poisonous snake and put it up on a staff in the midst of the camp. As the people look on it, it works like an anti-venom and the people are healed, so they are able to move forward once again.

The people go through a variety of cities until they reach Be’er meaning “well.” God tells Moses to assemble the people there, and He will give them water. This time, instead of whining, the people begin singing a song of praise to The Lord. The words include the line “Spring up, oh well” which we sing these days in the chorus to the hymn I’ve Got a River of Life. From there, the people traveled to the Pisgah range where it overlooks the desert, and that’s where today’s part comes to an end.

I see all this traveling, resting, thirsting, drinking, whining, and praising, as similar to all of us as we each go about our daily living. We have all those issues, and sometimes we even have bad events that poison our days and longer. But it is when we look the troubles right in the eye, that we can deal with them and be healed, and it is when we begin to praise God for ALL our provisions, that we can find the song in our hearts.

The snake on the staff has become a symbol for healing as we see on many medical buildings with the winged staff wrapped in two snakes. (Read about the Rod of Asclepius and the Caduceus to learn that the winged staff is used incorrectly.) Healing, even by trained medical professionals, always starts with a diagnosis. The first step in all 12-Step programs is to admit there is a problem, and from there, healing can begin. God assigned the poisonous snakes when they were slinging around false blame instead of taking responsibility, and He sent them healing when they admitted their failures.

Some things in life are definitely a gamble, and gambling never has guaranteed results. Sometimes, life gives us a bad roll, and only God can walk us through it. If it’s ever more serious, and we are poisoned by some trouble in life, we can look at it for what it is, admit our part in the responsibility instead of just blaming it on someone or something. From there, we can walk forward to the place of freedom and provision where God wants to lead us.

June 19, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , ,

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