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The Bite of the Serpent (2 of 12)

Mike Connell

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When you get bitten by a snake, there are two kinds of venom that they inject. They are different in the way they work. One kind of venom paralyses the system – all the nerves and muscles go into spasm and the person eventually goes into shock and dies. It’s a painful way to die. The other kind of venom begins to eat away the flesh. The body becomes toxic. The person goes into shock and dies. So the serpents bite was always fatal.

In the New Testament, Jesus encountered many people and they had demonic spirits living in their lives because they had broken the laws of God – idolatry and spiritism and sexual sin. Alcoholism, drugs. Demonic spirits were tormenting their lives. Jesus came to set them free.

So, the people had been bitten by the serpents. Then they began to figure it out –“We were doing fine, no serpents. Then we complained against God and Moses. Now we’re all getting bitten. We’ve obviously sinned.” So in this picture in this story here, you see the connection between sin, serpents, and death.

Whenever we sin, we give the devil access to our life, and the consequence of that sin is death. In the long term –physical death. In the short term – isolation, disconnection, problems in our lives. When people are wrestling with anger, it’s like a poison in their heart. When people are wrestling with lust, it’s like a poison in their heart. When people are wrestling with hatred, it’s like a poison inside them. They realise there was no remedy. Can you imagine how frightening it would be to live with serpents surround you, biting you, and there’s no remedy? Can you imagine how scary it would be to know that there are serpents waiting there to bite you and that there’s no remedy whatsoever.

The Bible is very clear – there is only one remedy for sin. There is only one remedy for demonic spirits. But most people don’t realise this. So what happened, is when the people connected, they had sin, and this is why they had a problem. They began to cry out. They said – “Moses help us. Moses, pray God will take the serpents away.” God heard Moses’ prayer.

I think Moses was very gracious. They’re complaining bitterly against him every day – then they come and say “Hey, the serpents are biting us. We’re so sorry. We’re so sorry we complained against you master. The serpent bites.” Moses could’ve said – “Well you got what you deserved.” But he prayed, he interceded. He had God’s heart for people.

God gave him an interesting instruction. He said – “Make a brass serpent, and put it up on a pole very high. Every time anyone’s bitten, this is what you’re going to do. You’ll have to, from wherever you are, you need to know you’re going to die unless you do one thing. You’re going to die. The poison is already working and there’s only one remedy – that’s to locate that brass serpent.

Can you imagine now, the panic someone had when they were bitten? “Ah! Maybe it will go away.” It’s not going to go away. There’s only one thing they can do. They had to find where the brass serpent was and look at it. Now, I want you to understand, it wasn’t kind of – “Oh yeah, there it is.” When the person is bitten, there’s only a short time before he dies. “Ahh! Where’s that serpent. Ah! There it is.” They’d be looking hard! They’d be giving it a good hard look. The Bible says – if you look on it, fix your attention on it with faith in your heart, the power of God will be released to you.

Now, it would’ve taken them no doubt, sometime of standing with their eyes fixed on the serpent, and then the power of God will be released. Now, can you imagine this – if you had been bitten by a serpent, and you’re starting to feel the pain. Now, what would you have done? If you don’t do something, you’re going to die.