DAY 4 – THE LAND OF EDOM & PETRA
Read Numbers 21:4-9
Petra – just the word creates a sense of mystery! Most people who visit the Holy Land today want to include a visit to this ancient city, built by the Nabateans in the 2nd Century B.C. A drive to Petra, “the red-rock city half as old as time” and one of the Seven New Wonders of the Ancient World, takes us through the Land of Edom in southern Jordan. During the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites were not permitted by the Edomites to go through this land which would have been the shortest route.
God’s people complained because of the hardships they endured in this desert. Frankly, it’s a barren place, so it’s not hard to imagine their grumbling! In summer – the temperatures are brutal! And the flies threaten to carry you away! All of this caused the Israelites to long for the land of Egypt. They griped against the Lord and His representative, Moses, so God brought judgment into their lives through venomous snake bites.
At God‘s instruction, Moses created a bronze serpent and lifted it on a pole. As the people looked to that bronze serpent, they were healed of the life-threatening snake bites.
Jesus used that example to describe the power of His own crucifixion. “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-16 NLT).
What must we do to be saved? Acts 16:31 tells us, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Genuine belief can be summarized in the word, “trust.” Just as we lean all of our weight on a chair when we sit down, so God invites us to lean all of our weight fully on Jesus to receive the forgiveness that He alone can provide through His death on Calvary.
Prayer of reflection: Lord Jesus, help me to trust you fully as the Only One who can secure my salvation for eternity.