Repentance Part – 1

John 3:14-15 – And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Numbers 21:4-5 – Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.  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 our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

So many of us get discouraged. We lose motivation, lose heart, lose direction, fizzle out, feel like impostors, scream inside our heads “what the hell do you think you’re doing!?”

Why do we get discouraged and what is discouragement?

Discouragement happens when we don’t have the right expectations; what we THOUGHT was GOING TO happen was different from what DID happen.

The people of Israel thought that entering into the “Promised Land” was going to be easy and fun but the reality was different. They encountered a lot of hardships and thus were definitely discouraged. That’s when they began to speak against Moses and God.

Numbers 21: 6 —— So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

The desert was full of serpents, yet none of the Israelites were bitten by them. Why? God’s Hand protected them! But the day they started speaking against God and His anointed servants, they moved away from God’s protection. Their own words brought death in their lives.  Death and life is in the power of our own tongue says Proverbs 18:21. When these serpents bit a person they died a torturous death.

Numbers 21:7 —- Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The Israelites began to realise that the serpents came into their lives because of their own murmuring.  Moses prayed for them and God sent relief!  In our lives too we have a lot of problems and difficulties. What happens with an unclean root? If we only cut the branches, new branches will grow in its place. We need to destroy it from the root itself.

Similarly, we too have to realise our own wrong doings and not blame others. We have to get the root out rather than the branches.

Unless we change our life, nothing around us will change. The more we change ourselves according to the Word of God; we can change the lives around us. The Israelites claimed they did wrong and wanted to be set free, God sees repentance. God does not look at tears; he looks at repentance, a change of direction.

The Lord told Moses to set a serpent out of brass and put in on pole so that whoever looks at it will live.  How could looking at a brass serpent take out the poison? It was not the sight of the brazen serpent that cured; but in looking up to it, they looked up to God as the Lord that healed them.

Compare their disease and ours. Sin bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Compare the application of their remedy and ours. They looked and lived, and we, if we believe, shall not perish. It is by faith that we look unto Jesus. Whosoever looked, however desperate his case, or feeble his sight, or distant his place, was certainly and perfectly cured.

The Lord can relieve us from dangers and distresses, by means which human reason never would have devised. Then none would shut their eyes to Christ, or turn from His gospel. Then a crucified Saviour would be so valued, that all things else would be accounted loss for him; then, without delay, and with earnestness and simplicity, all would apply to him in the appointed way, crying, Lord, save us; we perish! Nor would any abuse the freeness of Christ’s salvation, while they reckoned the price which it cost Him!


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