Holy Cross Day

God Heals the People Bitten By Snakes

Numbers 21: 4 - 9

Even though God punished the Israelites many times for moaning and complaining during their forty years in the wilderness, they still continued to complain at every turn of the road.

But unlike the followers of the pagan gods, the Israelites who followed Moses always understood that it was the presence of the Lord that was important.

They knew that he had sent the snakes, and they knew that the bronze snake did not heal of itself. It was their statement of faith in looking up to the bronze snake and then beyond it to the Lord himself that was important to God.

By looking upward, they showed God that they understood they could not heal themselves, but that all healing comes from him.

This story takes place after the Israelites' first sighting of the Promised Land and after the death of Aaron, their high priest and the brother of Moses.

1. What were the Israelites complaining about?

[There was no water, and they didn't like the food.]

2. What happened when the snakes came?

[Many people were bitten and died.]

3. What did the people ask Moses to do?

[They asked Moses to ask the Lord to take the snakes away.]

4. What did the Lord tell Moses to do?

[The Lord told Moses to make a snake out of bronze and place it on the top of a pole.]

5. What happened to everyone who looked up at the snake?

[Everyone who looked at the bronze snake lived.]

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