Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Snake and the Quake

The Lord said to Moses, Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live. Numbers 21:8

I was next door when I got a call from my wife. "Come over right away. I think there is a snake in the house." I dashed over expecting to see a little garter snake. Instead, there was a large black snake slithering on our tile floor.

My Irish Setter, Emmy, was with me. I was afraid the snake, usually harmless, would bite her. Janie had closed her door when she heard the unmistakeable serpent sound of a crawling snake. I grabbed a hoe and killed the snake.

A peculiar thing occurred. Emmy looked at the dead snake as I lifted it with the hoe and closed her eyes to mere slits. It was an expression I had never seen on a dog's face and have not seen since that day. It was not fear, but disgust. It was as if she knew in her dog wisdom that this was an ancient enemy.

In the evening, we had a small earthquake. The snake was attempting to evade what animals often sense.

I realized, , that as I lifted up the blacksnake I was holding a caduceus , the old symbol of healing derived from the Bible in Numbers 21:6-9. But why did the Lord command a bronze snake be made and held up to heal the snake bitten people? This cannot be a symbol of worship, no serpentine version of a golden calf.

Rather this bronze snake was a symbol of the victory of Christ over Satan. Who in that day could look ahead and see this great truth? Eve was told by God of her child who would someday tread the serpent underfoot. The bronze serpent was a symbol of that day.

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him. John 3:14

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