4 And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.
5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water, and we loathe this light (contemptible, unsubstantial) manna.
6 Then the Lord sent fiery (burning) serpents among the people; and they bit the people, and many Israelites died.
7 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 may take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [[a]attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived.
Numbers 21:9Jesus said that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that everyone who believes in Him [who cleaves to Him, trusts Him and relies on Him] may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever!” (John 3:14, 15). Obviously this implies that the look that caused the victim of a fiery serpent to be healed was something far more than a casual glance. A “look” would save, but what kind of a look? The Hebrew text here means “look attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze.” Or, as Jesus said in the last verse of the chapter quoted above (John 3:36), “He who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life.” But whoever does not so believe in, cling to, and rely on the Son “will never see... life.” The look that saves is not just a fleeting glance; it is a God-honoring, God-answered, fixed, and absorbing gaze!
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