13-15 “No one has ever gone up into the Presence of God except the OneOne who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, the Son of Man must be raised—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real-life, eternal life.
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his OneOne and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. Instead, he came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because that person failed to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. -John 3:13-18 The Message
The Israelites were in the desert wandering around when God sent a plague (a contagious bacterial disease) of snakes to punish the people for their rebellious attitudes. Here is the thing with this plague. You can survive it if you obey God’s command to look up at the bronze snake and believing that God can heal you. (Numbers 21:8-9) When there are no snakes around, we still have to think he will save us from anything dangering us. Many of our sins can be deadly bites, but we survive them if we obey and learn from our sins. So, put this into perspective. In yesterday’s blog, we know from common sense that we can’t see the wind blowing but know that the trees and leaves move when the wind blows.
We have no way of predicting the wind’s next move, neither do we see how the Holy Spirit will work in our lives. The only way to know is to listen and follow the Spirit. We are in the middle of a plague in our world now. We are fighting a deadly disease, the coronavirus. It is air-borne, and we have no idea of where it is. When God sent those snakes to punish them, why was that? To get them to believe. Why don’t we use this pandemic to take time and think about our sins? The thoughts of toxic people, air, or things in my home I can let go. Instead, it is a fight to most people that it doesn’t exist. Over 600,000 people died from this disease, and most people still think it is fake? Or just another season of the flu? Look up to Jesus; he is doing these things for a reason, not for entertainment.
Here is the most critical thing. What God does is not self-centered. What God does forces us to reach out to others to help. Did you think that God meant the pandemic for us not to help? Connect with people differently while we have quiet time? He didn’t send his only Son to laugh at our expense. No, he sent Jesus to forgive all of our hatred, our isolation, mainly our sins. Eternal life is God’s life in Christ given to believers to guarantee that they will live forever.
People used the pandemic to protect themselves differently. Some used it to try to intimate people about their freedom. Others tried to idolize what they have by loving what they have and putting God on the back burner. And then, some used it to voice the apparent oppression in America through protesting about racial issues. When that happened, many people felt that was a threat to their freedom, their control. So people confronted racial matters right to the top, a time to get together and talk about things that were happening for the world to see. But, unfortunately, the confrontation about our freedom because of stay-at-home orders almost resulted in violence. Those are the same people that idolize a man and not Jesus, the same people that don’t acknowledge what is already said in the Bible that is out there in today’s world.
Father, I pray for our nation as it is in a struggle. Let us remember why you sent your only Son. I pray we will recognize the time when to be quiet and listen. In Jesus’ name. Amen!