"God said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live." (21:8)
I have always been bothered by this verse. It is almost as if God is putting up an idol of sorts. Why not have them have them bow down before Him while He is there as a cloud or a pillar of fire?
Then I realized.
How fickle we are.
How often God is right there before us, and we can't see Him because we have gotten "used" to Him, taken Him for granted, need something bigger and better to worship. How often has He showered us with blessings, and we begin to grumble soon afterward. Much like a small child opening presents, ripping through the paper to the next one and when finished unwrapping, wonder where are the others - not enjoying the presents.
Sometimes, He gives us "a snake on a flagpole", because that is all that will get our attention. That will turn us away from the selfish, self-absorbed, self-gratifying, self-centered worship we are centered on. Even when we are being bitten and dying.
That is what happens when our focus turns away from Him. We get caught up in the snake infested world we live in, much like a snake charmer. We are risking our souls for eternal death.
And when we do look at the snake on the flagpole, we have to look past it and focus on Him.
Otherwise, we begin to worship the snake. Be it the building we feel comfortable worshiping in, ministers who deliver His Word, people or things that draw us near to Him.
We need to stay focused on our Christ and what His sacrifice did for us. Freed us from.
If we stay focused on His death and not His resurrection, we miss the reason for our Christ, our Savior. We miss the hope. We miss the grace and mercy. He doesn't want us to stop at The Cross. He wants us to continue onward. Making Disciples as we go and grow.
And sometimes, He gives us a snake on the flagpole, as a signpost on the road.
To head us in His direction.
To eternal life............................