Numbers 21 – Numbers 22
What a great reading! There are some wonderful visuals to take away from these two chapters.
First, in Chapter 21, we encounter the grumbling once again. In return, poisonous snakes were sent to the Nation of Israel. The people plead to healing, and Moses is given instructions to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. That image shouldn’t be unfamiliar to us, as the medical Caduceus is fashioned in a similar manner.
As we seek medical healing, through our doctors and nurses, little did we probably know that we were recalling the day’s of the Wilderness, and the healing that was provided through Moses and his bronze serpent. At the same time, I also recall Jesus words, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (John 3:14) For in Jesus we realize that his death and resurrection provide the ultimate gift of healing that we all of long for!
Then we shift into Chapter 22 and low and behold we fine a talking donkey. Sorry Dreamworks, you weren’t the first to create this. God beat you to it. As Balaam shares conversation with his donkey, his first response is, “you’ve made a fool of me.” Where’s the shock and awe, “Holy Crap, its a talking donkey!” That’s probably how I would have responded.
The true awe inspiring moment is realizing that God is at work within Balaam. Did you catch that? Here is Balaam, an unknown individual, who is able to speak blessings and curses upon people. He is not an Israelite, yet he is known by God and he knows God. We might be lead to believe that God is solely working in and through the Israelites. This is a key reminder that God works through all people, and we are known by God, and that God can use each and every one of us! This is especially true for Balaam, as he was initially hired by Balak to curse the Israelites, yet, with the donkey’s kind reminder, Balaam can now only speak blessing after blessing on God’s people. We’ll see that a bit more as we keep reading.
Our next reading: Numbers 23 – 25