Reflections: Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Today’s Reading: Numbers 21:4-9

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 8:5-26; Luke 15:11-32 

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way.
(Numbers 21:4) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “I don’t want to!” “No!” “You can’t make me!” Does this sound familiar to you? Do you remember ever saying those words yourself? I don’t know about you, but I’ve said those phrases a time or two, probably more recently than I’d want to admit. 

As God’s people began to voice this sentiment, they probably all jumped into the cadence of complaint. But to whom was their complaint directed? Of course this was directed against Moses, because it was Moses who issued the command to move. But where did Moses get the command? “And the people spoke against God and against Moses. . . “(Numbers 21:5). 

Clearly, all of this was God’s fault. It was God’s fault that the people were impatient. It was God’s fault that the people didn’t want to listen to God. It was God’s fault that they had no food or water. Blame God for everything and everything will work out for the better, right? That’s how God’s people thought then and that’s how people tend to think today, isn’t it? Things go well and we think we were the cause; things go bad and we blame God. 

What good is there in blaming God? What good is there in trying to go around God and do things our own way? Whenever we try to do things without God, the results are never promising. In fact, we make things worse for ourselves all because we don’t want to listen to what God has to say about this and that. 

What happened to God’s people when they chose not to listen? God sent fiery serpents to the people and many died. It was then that the people repented and returned to Moses, asking what they needed to do to be saved. The answer: Look to the fiery serpent and live. 

You and I do not have a fiery serpent to look at in order to be saved. We have Jesus. We see our salvation as He is lifted high upon the Cross. We see our Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We see Jesus in the waters of Holy Baptism. We see our salvation high and lifted up for us, that we may gaze upon Jesus and be saved. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim Til all the world adore His sacred name. O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree, As Thou hast promised, draw us all to Thee. (“Lift High the Cross” LSB 837, st.4)

-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.