Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And 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. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. – Numbers 21:6-9 ESV
What a great message. This is how we can be confirmed that GOD IS OMNI! God is OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT and OMNIPRESENT. He is all POWERFUL, all KNOWING and all PRESENT-everywhere at all times. Many scholars believe that Psalm 139 was written by David, and David alluded to God’s omnipresence when he wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12) Why does that matter because God promised us, He will always be with us, we just need to LOOK TO HIM. When Moses was dying, and had to tell his traveling party that He would no longer lead them, that Joshua would take them over the Jordan, GOD wanted them to know that although Moses was leaving them, God would never! Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
Leader, Deuteronomy 31:7-8 is but one time, of many that God spoke those words of encouragement. Almost 400 times in the Bible God implores us to trust Him to not fear, to not worry. In v 6 of Deuteronomy he says it and he again tells them He will NOT FORSAKE THEM OR LEAVE THEM; Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. God’s promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” is found in multiple books of the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. With this promise, we can be assured that He is always with us and encouraged to always be with God in faith and spirit. God says, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU! Which brings us back into the desert in Numbers and the snake on the pole. If you look at the request of the Israelites, and the deliverance of mercy, it was different than what was asked. I find it interesting They begged God to TAKE AWAY the serpents, but God had His own plan and did not remove that which was the consequence of their sin, instead, HE MADE A WAY! No matter the situation we must look to God, to Jesus, and the work He did lifted up on the TREE OF LIFE. God’s way is NOT to remove all that pains us and makes us uncomfortable, instead His way is for us to always be looking to JESUS on the CROSS- that is HIS way, not our way! Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; all day long I wait for you. (Psalm 25:4-5)
Conduit, even the greatest Christian, outside of Christ, who walked this planet did what many of us do; He begged God to REMOVE things from him, BUT GOD had a different way, a different plan and He is omniscient; He has perfect knowledge. In other words, He knows what we need, to get us to where He wants to get us to- which is this place called DEPENDENCE! So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) The sad reality is that we can never get to the city called DEPENDENCE without walking a mile on the PATH called DESPERATION! What we celebrate during the Christmas season is that Christ came into the world, as a Living, breathing Human being, AND FULLY GOD. He died one time, in fulfillment of the scriptures. Three days later He rose again, so that whoever believes IN HIM- whoever LOOKS TO HIM, shall not perish, but have everlasting life! This gift that we celebrate on Christmas, has its maximum value when we BELIEVE- cling to, have no other hope- so that we too shall only die one time and then be in the Presence of the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world! What a great gift that we will PRAISE GOD forever for, in HIS PRESENCE, in the new Jerusalem! We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2) Joy to the world, the LORD HAS COME, let earth receive her KING! This is the gift of CHRISTMAS!