As I am writing this article, I can hear an old hymn running through my mind. In part it says, “Look and live, my brother live. Look to Jesus now and live. It’s recorded in His word hallelujah, it is only that you look and live.”
That hymn reflects a story about the Israelites that is found in Numbers 21. As they were traveling from Mount Hor and attempting to go around Edom, the people grew impatient with God and His instruction.
Their complaint was one we still hear today. “Why have you brought us up our of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” In other words, “Lord, why don’t you just leave us alone?” They were experts at moaning and complaining. It really didn’t matter what the circumstances were, they found something to complain about.
All of a sudden though, God responded. He sent venomous snakes among them. The snakes bit the people and they cried out to Moses for relief. God in His grace, had Moses make a bronze snake and put it up on the end of a pole. He told them that anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.
I got to thinking about that process. Something difficult happens in our lives. We start to focus on that circumstance. In essence, we fixate on the problem. We are looking down at the “snake.” All we can see is the difficulty.
But God in His kind grace, encourages us to “look up.” He inspires us to lift up our eyes and consider the “solutions” that He might propose.
I am certain that this week will bring trials and difficulties for many of us. We will get “bitten” by any number of nasty “snakes.” Teens will rebel. Husbands will lose their jobs. Cars will crash. Health will deteriorate for many.
And if we are not intentional about our gaze, we will find ourselves consumed with the problem. We will be looking down.
So instead, let’s all lift up our eyes. Let’s look to the “pole” provided by our Savior and consider His grace. Let’s look and live. Let’s look up. Let’s get our Bible out and begin to read. Let’s turn on some worship music. Let’s intentionally adjust our gaze.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber…” Ps. 121:1-3