As Moses led the Hebrew nation through the wilderness towards the promised land, many of the people became impatient and disgruntled along the way. Unaware that the attitude of their hearts could quickly derail their participation in God’s great plan for the salvation of the world, they were met with a most unusual expression of love from God. He sent deadly snakes among them so that many died from the snake bites. In doing so, he was manifesting the hidden, destructive inclinations of their hearts in the circumstances of their lives. As a result, they realized their sin and asked Moses to intercede for them by asking God to take away the snakes. God’s provision was a remarkable foretaste of the cross of Christ and the salvation that he would offer the world.
- How do the people demonstrate their ingratitude to God on their journey under Moses’ leadership?
- Describe a time when you grew impatient with God? How did you express it?
- Have you ever had a time when God took the hidden, sinful inclinations of your heart and allowed them to be manifested in your circumstances? How would you describe that to someone?
- Have you ever been in an emotional or circumstantial “snakepit” in which you were surrounded by things that made you feel so undone that you cried out to God?
- Describe a time when you realized that the thing that God used to get your attention was not necessarily the thing he dealt with once he had your attention?
- In the painful circumstances of life, what would it take for you to begin your prayer with a request for God to change your heart in the midst of the circumstance rather than first asking God simply to change your circumstance?
- God provides a peculiar remedy for the deadly venom. How would you describe it? What did it require of the people? Did the snakes stop biting?
- Jesus refers to this story in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. In what way is God’s command for Moses to lift up the bronze serpent on a pole similar to Jesus on his cross? (think provision and promise)
- Have you allowed Jesus to absorb all of the deadly venom of the sin in your life so that, by looking to him in faith, you might receive the gift of eternal life? (I John 5:11-12)
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The outline and application questions are intended for your further reflection and action upon the weekend message. They are also designed to facilitate discussion and accountability within your LifeGroup.