Snakes are fascinating and disgusting all at once. I am either afraid or repelled by them. From time to time, Tiger, our cat, will bring a garden snake into the house to play. Snake removal is a role I happily give to my husband!
Men do not normally have the same reaction to snakes as women. I am sure I am overgeneralizing but it is true that as a result of the fall there is enmity between snakes and women (Gen.3:15). Also, because of the fall, the snake is especially cursed above any other creature.
Our verse for today is in the context of severe discipline for the Israelites. They were once again complaining, regardless of the fact that God was providing for their every need. As punishment, they were bitten by snakes. However, God showed mercy by providing a cure to their deadly bite. If they would look up to the bronze snake lifted high on a standard they would be healed. As strange as it may seem, I imagine there were some who refused to look.
God continues to show mercy today. He has provided a cure for the most deadly disease; our own sin (Romans 6:23). Jesus took the punishment for my sin on the cross. But He requires of me that I look up to that cross in faith.
The cross is foolishness and a stumbling block for so many. How heartbreaking to see those who could be healed but refuse to look to Him in faith! I am so grateful Lord, that I looked and that You showed me mercy.