Is the coronavirus (more commonly known as COVID-19) from God or the devil? Some Christians believe that this dreaded virus is from Satan and could not possibly be from God. But is this view actually biblical? Learn more!
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 1)
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 2)
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 3)
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 4)
- The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 5)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 1)
The coronavirus, is it from God, or the devil? Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. Thank you so much for joining me as I’m filming this Little Lesson, it’s the beginning of April 2020, and here in the United States, we’ve been under lockdown for quite a few weeks. Since the coronavirus has made its way from China, originating there back in December of last year and now reaching its tentacles around the entire world. And so far, as of today, I think there’s around 70,000 people who have died in the United States, as credited to the coronavirus. And worldwide about a quarter of a million people have succumbed to it. Now multiplied more people have been infected with the coronavirus and have not died from it. They’ve actually recovered. Just like many people recover from the flu and other viruses. And in fact, once you recover from a virus, your body has built up a God-given defense mechanism, and you’re more than ready to fight off the same exact virus again, the same strain.
So you’re actually stronger biologically after being hit with it and recovering. The folks for the most part who have succumbed to the coronavirus are people whose bodies are weakened because of their age, or because of some other illness or disease that their body’s been fighting. And so they’re immunocompromised on some level. But the younger you are, the less chance you have of dying of it. And the healthier you are, the less chance you have of dying of it. Not to in any way, make light of all the people who have succumbed to it.
So a quarter of a million people worldwide, their death has been attributed to the coronavirus. Again, although there was a co-morbidity with large percentages of those people. Now you realize we’re all going to die sooner or later. And on a future lesson, we’re going to talk specifically about why anyone dies, because that’s a very interesting and somewhat mysterious topic to lots of folks, but, we’re all mortal beings and something probably is going to get everybody sooner or later.
So during the same four months of 2020, when about a quarter of a million people have died around the world as attributed to the coronavirus, at that same time around 19 million other people have died of other causes. So really the coronavirus, although it’s making the headlines constantly, and that’s all the people are talking about, and we’re on lockdown and quarantine here and social distancing and everything else. Businesses are shut down. People laid off, 22 million people newly unemployed here in the United States. I mean, it’s a disaster, an economic disaster. And a social disaster on many levels. But still, it seems like nobody’s paying attention to the fact that multiplied many times, multiplied more people have died during the same time period of other things. And we haven’t gone into hysterics over that. This is a new thing.
And so really what’s happened is the chances of dying have just increased ever so slightly. And we’ve pretty much gone into hysterics over it. And I get it. Nobody wants to die, and we all know we’re going to die, but no one wants to die soon. We all hope to live as long as we can, for the most part. And the coronavirus has taken its toll. It certainly has, but many other things have taken a much greater toll. Heart disease, and stroke, and diabetes. These diseases have taken many more people during the same time period than the coronavirus has. And many of these things, they’re taking their toll, like heart disease, which is heart attacks and strokes, and then cancer of course. A lot of these things, medical science has proven that we have something to do with it, oftentimes. Our lifestyles will lead to these fatal diseases. And nobody’s up in arms about preventing that.
So I’m laughing only because I’m laughing at all of us. We’re in this predicament and we need Jesus. We need Jesus. So the question I posed at the beginning of this Little Lesson is, well, who’s responsible for this coronavirus? Because we have TV evangelists who are rebuking it in Jesus’ name and commanding it to cease and desist. And I’ve noticed that nothing has happened. That’s been certainly anything that’s been noticeable after these TV guys rebuke it, and command it to stop and so forth. And it shows how silly what they’re doing is. Now, what they’re doing would work if they had faith, but you can’t have faith for something that God hasn’t promised you. I mean if you could just, anytime you wanted to stop a disease, well, why don’t you rebuke all the cancer in the world?
Why don’t you rebuke all heart disease and all diabetes? And why don’t you, at the same time, rebuke all the calories in all the food, you know what I mean? Let’s just go for it. And we’ll all be healthy and live forever. So you can have faith for healing. Let me tell you, there’s plenty of promises in the Word of God for that. But when you start trying to use your faith to keep the entire world from getting sick, there’s no precedent for that in the Bible. Okay. So now the folks who are rebuking the devil with the coronavirus, they will often quote scriptures like John 10:10, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” And I love that verse in John 10:10.
Let me tell you, because that’s talking about our Jesus. And oftentimes the thief there in that verse in John 10 is identified by Christians as the devil. I have no doubt that the devil is a liar. That’s true. And I guess you could call him a thief on some levels. He’s stealing the truth by spreading his lies and so forth. But if you read John 10:10 in context, and read it, honestly, you won’t find any mention of the devil. You’ll find mention of false teachers and false religious leaders. Read about it. I think thief or thieves are mentioned like three times or something there in that passage. And it’s very clear when you read the context, he’s not really talking about the devil. He’s talking about false teachers and false religious leaders. They’re the thieves, robbing people of salvation and robbing people of knowing the truth, so they can act upon the truth.
These same folks who are rebuked in the coronavirus will quote scriptures like Acts 10:38, how Peter was preaching one time and said, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, how he went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil.” Well, there you go. Jesus was doing the healing. The devil was bringing the sickness by his oppression. That seems to be pretty clear. And I would have no qualms with anyone who said, “Yeah, yeah, the devil’s involved in the whole sickness thing.” But that’s not the whole picture. There’s a lot more to the picture because God is bigger than the devil. And the devil, as the Bible reveals him, is kind of like a junkyard dog on a leash.
And of course God’s holding that leash. The devil can’t do anything other than what God permits him to do. Okay. So, oh, we’re out of time, eight minutes and 30 seconds I’ve already gone. So we’ll do part two on this in our very next Little Lesson.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 2)
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. If you were with me on our last lesson, we started talking about the coronavirus, which I’m filming this in April of 2020, and it’s making headlines. It has been making headlines all over the world for months now. The United States is just beginning to cautiously reopen after shutting down the schools, shutting down businesses, all non-essential services. People have been furloughed and laid off, and so forth. Terrible, terrible crisis and disaster here in this country. As I’m talking to you, about 70,000 people have died in this country, about a quarter of a million around the world, and it’s attributed to the coronavirus.
So we talked about that the last time. So there is not a full agreement within the body of Christ, within those who profess to believe in Jesus about the origins of the coronavirus. Is it God or is it the devil? Well, it’s bad, and so that makes you think, “Well, it must be the devil. It’s bad.” But wait a second. Wait a second. We got a whole Bible, and we know that God is good. We also know that God is holy, and God is pure, and God is righteous, and God gives commandments. When people ignore His commandments and disobey His commandments, He’s slow to anger, but yet He does reveal himself as a God of wrath in the scriptures. Although we do have some proof texts that are used by some of these TV evangelists guys, I cited them the last time in our Little Lesson, Jesus said the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I talked about that. That’s actually not talking about the devil. It’s talking about false teachers and religious leaders. Jesus went about doing good, healing all those who were oppressed by the devil, Acts 10:38.
Remember that woman who was bent over for 18 years and the Pharisees got mad about Jesus healing her on the Sabbath, then He said, “Shouldn’t this woman have been released from Satan, a daughter of Abraham that she is after 18 years?” So the devil is attributed to that. Jesus cast out devils, and people got better and got well. So there’s no doubt that the devil is involved in some way, form, or fashion in the whole sickness space. That’s biblical, but that’s not all the truth. People will say, “Well, John 10:10 says the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. But Jesus said, I came that they might have life and have it fully.” So anything that kills or steals or destroys, that’s the devil. That’s a very simplistic theology. You got to love those folks, because they’re sincere. But you can be sincere and be sincerely wrong because you just didn’t read enough in the Bible.
So God bless those folks, and we don’t want to make them feel bad, but we do want to help them to see that there’s other verses in the Bible. Well, the danger of pulling out proof texts, that’s illustrated very much by the common use of John 10:10: anything that kills, steals, or destroys is of the devil. Can I read to you from Matthew 10 and verse number 28, these are the words of Jesus. He said, “Do not fear those who kill the body, but who are unable to kill the soul, but rather fear Him,” that’s a capital H, it’s obviously talking about God, “fear Him who is able to …” the next word is “… destroy both soul and body in hell.” So God is credited for destroying. There’s the word, destroy. He’s destroying souls and bodies in hell. Look it up yourself, Matthew 10:28.
Let me read to you from Luke Chapter 12 and verse number 5, very similar statement by the Lord Jesus. “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the one who after He has killed …” Well, is he talking about the devil there? “After He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him,” capital H. Jesus is not talking about the devil in that verse and fear the devil; fear God, because after He has killed, so God can kill, and if you’ve read the Bible one time, you’ve read scores of stories in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, if you get all the way into Revelation … well, actually, you can stop in Acts. Ananias and Sapphira fall dead for lying about their contribution in the Book of Acts, right? Well, you think it was the devil that killed them? Was the devil angry that they sinned? The devil would be inspiring them to sin. He’s the tempter.
Again, we’re just reading from the Bible. Okay, Revelation, God’s killing all kind of people through all these plagues that have their origin in the Old Testament. I mean, oh my goodness, God is not ashamed or embarrassed in the least to be taking credit for killing lots and lots of people. So you just don’t want to take John 10:10 and say, “Well, anything that kills or steals or destroys, that’s the devil.”
Okay, here’s James. James, an apostle of the Lord, wrote the Book of James. “There is only one law giver and judge, the one who was able to save,” ain’t that great, we love our Savior, “one who’s able to save,” and guess what the next word is. You guessed it: destroy. So the same God that’s saving is also the God who, the Bible says, is destroying. So you can’t say everything that kills, steals, and destroys is the devil.
All right, one more, and we could spend hours. One more, this is from Jude. “Now, I desire to remind you that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt,” there he is the Savior, ain’t that wonderful? He saved the Israelites out of Egypt, delivered them from slavery, “subsequently,” guess what the next word is, “destroyed those who did not believe,” Jude verse five. So God’s the Savior and the Destroyer, it’s all in one verse.
Okay, so now does God sometimes use the devil in his sovereign purposes to wreak havoc and to destroy or to put sickness on people? Well, think about this. Think about the story of Job. A lot of mystery there, but God says to the devil, “Have you considered My servant, Job? There’s nobody like him on the earth, fearing Me and turning away from evil. Job says, “Well, yeah. It’s all because You bless him so much. Take away those blessings,” and God says, “All right, give it your best shot, buddy,” and the devil begins to afflict him. One of those afflictions is sickness. So the devil couldn’t do anything until God allowed him. So yeah, sure, we can say the devil is behind sickness.
So now we’re talking about the coronavirus. Well, it might be. You can say, “Well, it’s the devil,” but is the devil operating unilaterally? Is he able to do whatever he wants? Not according to the Bible. See? So I think the most natural way to interpret the coronavirus, if you want to give the devil some credit there, okay, fine. But could it be that God is trying to send yet another message to the people of the world that you need to repent and start loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself? Could that be it, seeing as how that’s in the Bible from the beginning to the end? I think so.
Okay, well, I guess we’re going to go to part three on this little series about the coronavirus, so not enough time for today. Looking forward to our next time together. God bless you.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 3)
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson, and are we ever having fun looking into God’s Word and considering the current situation in the world. I’m making this video in April of 2020. So we’re in the thick of the coronavirus and when you’re watching it, I don’t know if the coronavirus will be gone or a new strain will be back. Of course, we get the flu, the seasonal flu, influenza type A and influenza type B, and there’s the swine flu and all these things, that come around the world at different times.
Our world is full of sickness. So not just the coronavirus, but all the sicknesses. There’s a gazillion sicknesses and diseases out there. And chances are one of them is going to take all of us. I mean, we know this, we’re all going to die. Now I plan on actually dying of extreme happiness. That’s my plan. But most people die from some kind of sickness or disease. And the most common ones of course are heart diseases and strokes and heart attacks and cancer, at least in this country. A lot of those are partially self-inflicted diseases because of our own lifestyle. So, we’re just kind of asking the general question then: What about sickness and disease? Is God the healer, or is God the one making people sick?
Well, my answer might surprise you, but it’s actually both because God is not just like a robot that has one mode, He’s the happy mode or one mode, He’s the mean mode. No, no, no. God’s a person with a personality and He’s perfect. The Bible reveals Him as of course, a God of love and mercy and grace and long suffering. These are the things that we appreciate so much about God, especially in the light of the fact that God is revealed as Holy and just, and righteous, and the one who repays everyone according to their deeds, because He’s perfectly just.
So can you see with all those attributes of God, which you could put all of them on one side, the loving side of God, the merciful side of God, the compassionate side of God, and then over here, the just side of God, the Holy side of God, the righteousness of God, both revealed in the Bible, but can you see how potentially there could be some tension where those things are sometimes meeting and you know we all experience this, right? Don’t we all have some degree of inner conflict over whether we should act with justice, or with compassion and forgiveness on any given such moral situation? Sure.
You know, parents know this really well because every time you spank your kid, you really don’t want to spank them, but you know it’s what’s best for them. So it’s a loving discipline and you know it’s good for them. This helps them get on the right path. Nobody enjoys spanking their child or disciplining their children, however you discipline your kids.
And even in conflicts with other people and when we’re offended, we have to make a choice, mercy or judgment. That guy just cut me off in traffic. Do I just ignore it and say, “Well, sometimes I’ve cut people off in traffic,” or do I honk my horn and shake my finger at that guy?
Well, you understand. Now God, He’s perfect. So He’s slow to anger, very slow to anger, but where His mercy ends, His judgment begins. But in a time where mercy is starting to end and judgment’s about to happen, oh my goodness, that’s a tenuous moment in time. And there’s just so many Biblical themes that emanate from that, I hate to call it tension, because it makes God look as if He’s undecided, but yet He’s dealing with that because He’s multifaceted, and these parts of His personality, His character are in opposition to another to a degree. So you just look at your own body, okay? If you believe like I believe that God created us and God designed us with bodies that are fearfully and wonderfully made, as the Psalm has said. I mean, and when He said it, they didn’t know anything about bodies.
Now we know a million times more about our amazing bodies than David knew about it back when he had penned that psalm. Today with medical science, and we know that our bodies down to the molecular level are absolutely incredibly amazing. Fearfully and wonderfully made is like the understatement of the century, okay? And God has put into us this immune system that fights off diseases, and that actually once it wins a war, it’s stronger for the next war. And we have these amazing bodies that, you cut yourself and in a few days, you know, there’s no mark, it’s all healed up. And specialized cells that rush to the area of injury.
So God has created within us, this healing process, and we all know that, just outside of the normal healing process of our bodies, that God is in the healing business. We know from the Bible that God’s in the healing business. You look at the ministry of Jesus Christ. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, Peter preached in Acts 10:38. So God is good. God is a healer.
But then we also hear God saying to the Israelites, “If you obey me, I will put none of these diseases on you, which I’ve put on the Egyptians.” Of course, some people say, “Well, in the Hebrew it actually says, God said I will allow none of these diseases upon you, which I allowed upon the Egyptians,” whatever, whatever.
God’s actively involved, even the folks that are giving all the credit to Satan for sickness have to wake up to the fact that the devil, he’s not an independent player, he’s not all powerful. He can’t do anything except what God allows him to do, all right? So, so we just see this played out in so many ways in Scripture, the God, the judge judging by sickness.
Well, Paul wrote, this is New Testament for this reason, “many of you are sick and a number of you sleep.” That is you’re dead because you didn’t judge your body rightly. And if we would judge ourselves as if we acknowledge our sin and confess it, he said, “We wouldn’t be judged by the Lord, but when we are judged by him, it’s so that we’re not condemned along with the world.”
So in the New Testament, God’s presented as a God who is either allowing sickness, but it’s all within his righteous purpose because of sin. But we also see God healing people. And so that’s a manifestation of the tension between the love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy of God and the holiness, righteousness, and justice of God. And so God is the healer. God is the inflictor.
And again, if you want to say, he just lets the devil do it, fine, fine, but the devil can’t do it unless God gives them the permission, right, okay?
So in our next Little Lesson, we’re going to look at it a really cool story from the Old Testament that I think is a great illustration of what’s really going on with the coronavirus and man, is it a nice illustration. So don’t miss the next Little Lesson, okay? Sorry, these are only eight or nine minutes. I think I’ll start doing longer lessons. We’ll create a new series we he can get into some stuff.
Hope to see you next time. God bless you.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 4)
Hi, welcome to today’s little lesson. Thank you so much for joining me. We are continuing to consider who’s behind the coronavirus, and we’ve been asking for the last three lessons, is it God or the devil? Considering the scriptures and considering all the scriptures, not just taking one verse out of context and basing our entire theology on that. You’ve probably already heard me mention the fact that although the coronavirus is credited for taking about a quarter of a million lives during the last four or five months … I’m recording this now in April of 2020. During that same time period, other sicknesses and diseases and so forth have taken the lives of about 19 million people. So it’s very interesting that the Lord has just increased the chances of dying, a small fraction of the normal chances of dying and we’ve gone into almost a hysteria. We’re in lockdown here still, and quarantine, and social distancing, and all the rest of that.
So when you’re watching this, who knows what has happened? The coronavirus, whether there’s been more waves or mutations, and so on and so forth. But healthy people, the younger you are the better chance you have of surviving it. In fact, if you do get it, which many people have got it and recovered and not even had any symptoms for that matter. But they now have the antibodies built in their system to fight it off should the same strain come by another time. All right. So there you see the amazing healing power of almighty God. Now, I promised you in our last lesson, we would look at a story in the Old Testament that would really give us some insight into the coronavirus and into God because that’s really what’s important. This is the story of Israel coming out of Egypt. You know how God miraculously delivered them from Egyptian slavery, bringing many plagues upon the Egyptians who refused to let them go until finally the final plague was the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, and the institution of course, of the Passover.
It’s all a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and Him dying on the cross for us, and His blood protecting us from the plague. And I just can’t resist mentioning that although every Christian believes that Jesus, who the Bible says is our Passover, who is the Lamb of God, who is the fulfillment of every Old Testament sacrifice, who was crucified during the Passover. So God is definitely making it clear what’s going on with the Passover, what it all symbolizes. Even though every Christian believes that the original Passover saved people from physical death and a plague that killed all the firstborn in Egypt, not every Christian believes that Jesus is the fulfillment of every Passover and that this is effectual or efficacious in any way to save us, or protect us, or provide healing for our bodies. Now, isn’t that an interesting thought? The original Passover lambs protected all the firstborn in Israel from a death, a plague that killed all the firstborn in Egypt. And Jesus is this fulfillment and He is the Passover. Okay, well, we’ve got to get into the story, we’re using up too much time.
So here they are, “Then they,” that’s Israel, set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom and the people became impatient because of the journey. The people spoke against God” … Let me give you a little tip here, don’t speak against God. “And Moses” … Let me give you a second tip here, don’t speak against the people whom God calls and anoints to serve Him. Now, not the phony guys. I’m talking about the real servants. And here’s what they said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and there’s no water.” And this is why they call them the grumbling Israelites. “And we loathe this miserable food.” They said, so God got upset about that and His wrath, His anger was manifested in the next verse. “So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died.” Well, it didn’t say the devil sent the fiery serpents. It was God, the Lord sent fiery serpents.
It didn’t say they got out on the devil’s territory where he could afflict them, it gave the direct credit to God. He sent these fiery serpents. I don’t even know what a fiery servant is, but whatever it was, they obviously looked like a serpent. I don’t know the fiery part, it’s a mystery. But when it bit people, they died. Now, not everyone got bitten and not everyone died immediately. Obviously they got bitten and then they got sick just like snake bites today. You don’t die and leave when you get bit by certain snakes, there’s a period of time. So the people came to Moses and said … Now they’re waking up. This is what God’s always trying to do, is get people to wake up. “We have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord.” Well, there you go. Now they’re getting it. “So intercede with the Lord that He may remove the serpents from us.” And actually God didn’t remove the serpents. Look what He did, Moses interceded for the people and then God answers his prayer to a degree.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard or a post. And it shall come about that everyone who was bitten when he looks at it, he will live.” So we got God sending fiery serpents, it’s biting some of the people and eventually they’re dying. But then God tells Moses to make a representation of the fiery serpents, put it up on a post and the people that are bitten by the snakes that God sent, look at the snake on the pole that God told Moses to put up on the pole. And then the people who are bitten, who are going to die, they look up and then they live. They don’t die. So can you see? There is what we’ve been talking about, the two sides of God’s personality. His love and mercy and forgiveness and grace, and His holiness and righteousness and His justice. And those two are in tension. And because Moses interceded … get this, mercy began triumphing over judgment. But people still had to do something, they had to look at the serpent up on the pole. And if they didn’t do that, they wouldn’t live.
But guess what? I bet you, a lot of people looked up at the serpent. You see God’s mercy all through this story. Again, the serpent is biting people, but not everybody. Serpents are biting some. So God’s showing some degree of mercy. People don’t die instantly, they get sick and God’s trying to get them to come to repentance. Then God provides a remedy. That remedy didn’t happen instantly. Moses had to make a bronze serpent as we were reading, it was actually a bronze serpent. He had to, first of all, make a representation in wax, and then make a mold around it in clay. And of course it melts the wax on the inside and then you have a mold, you can pour the bronze in it. So it takes some time to make a bronze serpent to go up on a post. Right? Right. And he does it. So that shows you that there was quite a bit of time from the time people got bitten and the ultimate time when they died.
But there’s the amazing mercy of God. And there’s God the afflicter and God the healer all in one story. So if you have the coronavirus, I just tell you to do what they did. Look to the serpent on the pole. You say, “Where am I going to find that?” Oh, I’m glad you asked that question because Jesus said to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 … Look it up later on, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.” Now, unfortunately this is a little lesson, we’re out of time. I’d love to build on this. I’ll do one more lesson. We’ll go into this a little bit more deeply because it’s so interesting and so applicable to this coronavirus thing. So thanks so much for joining me, I hope to see you next time.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Is It From God or the Devil? (Part 5)
Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. This is going to be our fifth and final Little Lesson on the subject of the coronavirus. We have covered some interesting ground. If you missed the first four Little Lessons on the coronavirus, you might go back and check them out because I’m trying to build on what we’ve already talked about.
As I’m filming this, it’s the beginning of April 2020, there are about a quarter million people who have succumbed to the coronavirus, but many, many, many more people have recovered from the coronavirus or not been afflicted by the virus by all evidences. Okay. Not everyone’s been tested at this point in time, but they’ve tested millions of people. A lot of folks have the antibodies that prove that the coronavirus attacked their body but their body successfully fought it off, and they might’ve had very minor symptoms and not even realized it. The same virus that killed other people who were immunocompromised or elderly, or had some other problem within their bodies that weakened them so they weren’t able to fight it off.
But here’s the thing, if you’re watching this video, now that’s probably proof that your body, your God-given, amazing, incredible, fantastic, super fantastic, super-duper body, God-made body has fought off lots of things that otherwise would have killed you. Yeah! Viruses, flus, influenza, the different bacteria and so forth. Oh my goodness, there’s so many little bad guys out there floating around and sitting around waiting to try to wreak their havoc. And yet your body, through the God-given immune system that you have that just almost defies belief, it’s totally miraculous. Nobody can explain it really, how it’s all working, how it has fought these things off and preserved your life.
You see, that shows you that within your experience God has been good to you and merciful to you. But we’ve been talking about how God is incredibly loving, merciful, and long-suffering. But on the other hand, he’s holy, righteous, judgmental, and there’s a tension between where those two things are meeting. So we studied in our last lesson, this really interesting story about the Israelites when they were coming out of Egypt. And it’s recorded in Numbers, chapter 21, we won’t read the whole story again, but the Israelites were grumbling against God and grumbling against Moses. That was the God-ordained leadership at the time. And God got upset, so he sent these, what were called fiery serpents.
I don’t know if they look like fire or they were really red and zipped around fast, who knows why they were given this description of fiery serpents, but they were something like snakes, obviously. And they’re biting people, and people wake up saying, “Oh my goodness. God’s not happy with us. We repent.” That’s a good pattern to follow. Good pattern to follow. When you’re afflicted, look to God. Maybe, just maybe he’s trying to get your attention to get you to get in line in some way or another. I know anytime I’ve ever gotten sick or I’m starting to get sick, I look at myself and just see, and it’s not always hard to find something that you need to repent of, because God’s so merciful. But if we persist in stubborn bonehead sin for long enough God is able to get our attention, but so many times we just ignore him.
There’s a story about Asa in the Old Testament, Asa the King. And he was a good guy for a lot of time, but then he had some flaws. And in the end he gets mad at a prophet and he puts this prophet in prison. And the Bible talks about how Asa got a disease in his feet, and even in his disease he didn’t seek the Lord. And then, after three years he died. It was very clear, God is trying to get his attention. “Don’t put my prophets in prison.” Here, read the story. Don’t be grumbling against my prophet, Moses. I have assigned him his task. He’s doing what I want him to do. So when you grumble against Moses, you’re grumbling against God. Now, don’t make that mean more than it means. We’ve got a lot of unscrupulous leaders out there who are so quick to point out the fact that, “I’m God’s representative. You ought to be following me and obey me.” And you shouldn’t be, because they’re not scriptural.
Anyways, so God sends these fiery serpents, people start getting bitten. Not everyone, but people get bit and they slowly die. And the Bible says many people die. So then they come to their senses and they ask Moses to intercede and to stop the fiery serpents. Actually, God doesn’t stop the fiery serpents. He doesn’t give him what he wants, he gives him something else. He tells Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it up on a pole, and if someone gets bitten, so he didn’t do away with the snakes, snakes are still going around biting people. But if you do get bitten, you look up at that pole and there’s a serpent up there, just as a symbol of the serpents that are biting people and killing them. But you look at this serpent up on the pole and then you won’t die. So you see, again, both sides of God. That holiness, that righteousness, that judgment, justice God. We see the mercy, compassion, forgiving God. And in the same story, God’s killing people and God’s healing people, through snakes. It’s really interesting isn’t it?
Okay. Now here’s a question. You’ll say, well, the serpents are killing him, why does God have Moses fashion, manufacture, make a bronze serpent and put that up on a pole? How about a lamb? Wouldn’t that be a little bit more biblical? Get a lamb up there, or a cross, or a rainbow. But the serpents are killing people and you’re putting a serpent up on a post, and people who get bitten by the serpent look at that and then they die. What’s going on with this?
Well, you get a little clue in John chapter three, when Nicodemus and Jesus are having this conversation. And Jesus tells Nicodemus, “You have to be born again or you can’t enter. You can’t see or enter the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven.” And Nicodemus is asking, “What are you talking about Jesus?” How can I go into my mother’s womb a second time?” And Jesus explains to him, “I’m not talking about a physical rebirth buddy. I’m talking about a spiritual rebirth. You have to be born again spiritually to get into heaven. You have to be changed inwardly. You’ve got to get a new nature. You’ve got to be born of God.”
And in that conversation, Jesus says to him, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. This is John 3:14. You know what follows that right? John 3:15. What follows that? John 3:16. Here’s John 3:14. Two verses ahead of that, of John 3:16. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man,” that’s Jesus, “be lifted up so that whoever believes will have eternal life.” So very clearly Jesus is connecting himself with that serpent that Moses fashioned and put on the pole. So what’s it all represent? Jesus bore our sin in his body. He took upon himself our guilt. And he was forsaken by God on the cross. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
See, so the serpents are fighting people, that represents the sin. That’s what’s really killing you, sin is killing you. And so we’re going to put your sin on Jesus, and if you look to him in faith you won’t die. Now, of course we know we’ll all die physically of something, but Jesus said whoever believes in him will have eternal life. So even though you die, you will live. Hallelujah. So it’s always good to look to Jesus. Look to Jesus. And look to Jesus with faith and expectation. Without faith it’s impossible to please God.
Okay. Well, I wish we had more time. Time goes so quickly in these Little Lessons. Thank you so much for joining me. Checkout HeavensFamily.org to see how you can get involved in doing what every Christian should be involved in, and that’s caring for the “least of these” around the world. Okay, until next time, Lord bless you.