by Sophia Prinsloo with Barbara Wilmerton Haas
Text Version | Afrikaans
Oh, how Lance longed to be an adult! Why was it taking so long to get there? Oh, how he ached to be his own boss and do whatever he pleased! No more having to obey parents, no more getting up and going to school, no more discipline, no more getting grounded. He could play his music as loudly as he wanted and could eat only pizza and pasta.
Lance grew really tired of listening to his parents preaching to him about drugs, alcohol, dating and all those sorts of things. How boring! To him, coming of age, seemed such a long way off.
One Saturday, he was visiting his friend, Damon, for the first time. Damon was one of the most popular kids in school. Everybody wanted to be his friend. That's why Lance felt highly honored when Damon invited him over for a visit. They played ball outside until they were tired. Later they played some video games until Damon got bored when Lance won too many times. Then Damon decided to do something really naughty.
"Come with me!" said Damon. "I have a plan to spice things up a bit."
First, he checked on his mom who was busy in the kitchen and then quickly took a key from a special hiding place and opened his dad's liquor cabinet. Grabbing a glass, he poured a little liquor and wine from each bottle in the cabinet into the glass. The liquor mix looked pinkish with a potent smell of alcohol. Just as they finished pouring, they heard his mother's footsteps coming closer. Damon closed the cabinet as quickly as he could, returning the key to its hiding place.
"Whew! That was close," Damon whispered, relieved as they hurried outside towards the garage, trying not to spill their loot.
Lance knew they were doing wrong, because he was not supposed to drink any alcohol, but peer pressure really got to him and he wanted to feel accepted by Damon and the other cool kids at school. Throwing conscience aside, he WILLFULLY chose to ignore everything his parents had warned him about.
Making themselves comfortable on the lawn behind the garage, they each took a sip. "Phew!" it almost took Lance's breath away, burning his throat all the way down. Damon giggled and took his turn, gasping for fresh air when he took his sip. The boys took some more turns, laughing a lot, beginning to feel lightheaded.
"I bet you won't be able to ride a bicycle in a straight line on the pavement," Damon dared Lance. In a drunken bravado, Lance was sure he could do anything and accepted the challenge. They took Damon's bike out of the garage and onto the pavement. Lance mounted the bike and began peddling. He swerved left and then right, and then came crashing down unto the hard pavement.
"WHAAAAAAH!" he cried out, looking at his arm. It was clearly broken and it hurt like mad.
Damon rushed to get his mom. She was so worried, she didn't even have time to scold them for their foolishness, but took them straight to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible and then phoned Lance's parents.
Lance's parents immediately came and stayed with him the whole time. After his arm was set, they took him home. Driving back, his dad said, "Son, do I smell liquor on you?"
Ashamed, Lance said, "Yes, Dad. I am sorry! I really have made a grave mistake."
His father replied, "I am sure you have learned your lesson, but you are still grounded for six weeks."
"Okay, Dad," Lance replied sheepishly.
His dad continued, "Your mother and I always 'preach' to you, because we want you to make wise choices so that you can have a good life and avoid getting hurt. It's the same with the Bible. There's lots of wisdom in there to keep your life free from unnecessary trouble and heartache. Do you know what the Bible says about wine and strong drink?"
Lance shook his head. "No."
His dad replied, "It says in Proverbs 23:31-32 that we should not be enticed with wine or strong drink, because its consequences are like the bite of a viper and the sting of an adder. It causes a person to say and do stupid things, bringing about heartache and pain, just like what happened to you today." After a long pause, letting that thought sink in, Lance's dad continued, "The good news is, the Lord is so full of mercy, He is willing to forgive you — if you are truly sorry."
Still at Kadesh, Moses sent messengers to the King of the Edom. The Edomites were the decedents of Esau, the brother of Jacob, and therefore they were also considered the Israelites' "brothers." The messengers were to ask the King to allow the Israelites to travel through their land, because it was a well-travelled trade route, used by foreign and local tradesmen alike.
Bad news! The King of Edom remembered how their ancestor, Esau, was deceived by his brother, Jacob, who not only had stolen his birthright, but also his blessing. With that in mind, he believed that the Israelites were just as sneaky and conniving as their forefather Jacob, and he did not trust them one bit. Besides, he was afraid if that many people were to travel through his land, they would devour all their crops or, even worse, attack them and steal their land.
Moses tried his best to negotiate with the King of Edom, promising him they would not touch their crops or fruit, or even their water. They would even pay for water. But it was useless. The King flatly refused. To avoid conflict with their Edomite "brothers," Moses wisely chose another route, trekking along the border of Edom to Mount Hor.
It was there that the Lord spoke to Moses and said it was time for his own brother, Aaron, the high priest, to die. He would not enter the Promised Land because of his and Moses' sin of striking the rock instead of speaking to it.
Following the Lord's command, Moses, Aaron and his son, Eleazar, went up Mount Hor. On the summit, Moses solemnly removed the priestly garments from Aaron and put them on Eleazar. After tearfully saying their goodbyes, but with the hope of seeing one another again in heaven, Aaron died on top of the mountain while Moses and Eleazar returned to the camp alone. When the Israelites heard of Aaron's death, they mourned for him thirty days, paying their respects.
It was time to proceed with their journey to the Promised Land again. To avoid conflict with their Edomite brothers and travel around the land of Edom, the Israelites had to go south, in the direction of the Red Sea from where they had come.
To the Israelites, it was very discouraging that their own family wouldn't help them. They thought the Lord would at least have given them favor with the Edomites to travel through their land, but He did not. As usual, when things did not go their way smoothly, they got very impatient and began to complain against the Lord and against Moses.
Depressed, they murmured, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this barren desert? We are sick of all this sand in our clothes, in our tents, in all our stuff. There is no water to drink and no bread to eat here. Besides, we LOATHE this tasteless, boring MANNA!"
Moses was shocked to his core and thought to himself, "How dare these people be so ungrateful! How dare they say they detest the manna the Lord has been supernaturally providing for them all this time in the wilderness! It is angel food and tastes like honey bread! Have they lost their sense of taste?"
What Moses and the Israelites didn't know at that time, is that the manna represented the Word of the Lord, even Jesus Christ Himself! What the Israelites were saying about the manna being boring and tasteless, is a picture of ourselves when we get bored and disinterested with the Word of the Lord, become ungrateful and don't trust Jesus anymore.
The Lord was not at all impressed with the attitude of the Israelites tempting Him with their unbelief, ungratefulness and abhorrence. Before they knew it, poisonous snakes appeared all among them. Vipers and adders slithered from under the rocks in and around the camp. The sand under the people's feet came alive as snakes coiled and twisted from where they were hiding underneath the loose desert sand.
As they emerged, the snakes struck with the speed of lightning, sinking their fangs into their victims' skin, injecting poison into their bodies. The sting of their fangs was like a nasty, fiery prick, but when the poison spread through the people's bodies, they cried in agony, knowing death was near. It was a horrifying scene to behold and many people died all across the camp. Some died slowly, others quickly, depending on the type of snake that bit them.
Do you know what the snakes picture? The Israelites didn't know it then, but when we become bored with the Word of the Lord and begin to loathe it and don't trust Jesus anymore, we let our guard down and SIN sneaks in like a slithering serpent. It bites us when we least expect it and then we suffer from its agonizing consequences.
Fortunately, the people of Israel realized that they had sinned gravely against the Lord and they came to Moses, crying brokenheartedly, "Moses, we have sinned, speaking against the Lord and also against you! We plead for forgiveness. Please pray to the Lord and ask Him to take away these snakes that are causing so much agony and death."
With his whole heart, Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord on behalf of the people of Israel. In his love, the Lord bent down and heard him, because this was the prayer He was wanting and waiting to hear. The Lord extended great mercy to the sinful, but truly repentant people. In his exceeding grace, He not only forgave them and caused the snakes to go away, but He also planned to do even more.
Many people who had been bitten were still alive, and because God loved them and had forgiven them, He wanted to save their lives. So the Lord told Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." Without wasting any time, Moses quickly made a huge fire, fumed it with bellows until it was extra hot and melted a few nuggets of bronze from the Tabernacle's treasure chest.
While molding a serpent from the metal, Moses thought about the serpent in the Garden of Eden who had beguiled Adam and Eve. There, in the Garden of Eden, God said that the Seed of Eve would be bitten in the heel by the serpent, but He made them a promise that the same Seed of Eve would crush the serpent's head. Moses believed anything was possible for the Lord and He was sure He would make the snakes go away and heal the people who were bitten.
When the bronze serpent was complete, Moses put it on a high pole in the middle of the camp so that everybody could see it when they looked up. Moses spread the word throughout the camp that every person with a snake bite should look up to the bronze snake on the stake, believe that the Lord forgave them and He would heal them.
And that's exactly how it happened! Every single person who looked to the serpent on the pole, no matter how severe they were bitten, were miraculously healed. Praise the Lord for his mercy and his healing power!
Just like the miracle happened for the dying Israelites, God wants to miraculously save us from a horrendous death caused by our sin. Do you know what the snake on the stake pictures? The bronze serpent on the pole is a picture of Jesus Christ taking all our sins upon Himself, dying on the cross for us so that we could be forgiven. Jesus was the Seed of Eve who would come to take away the sins of the world, crushing sin and Satan's head.
We must look upon Jesus dying on the cross just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent. When we put our trust in Him to save us, He will certainly save us. Jesus Himself said that just like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, He must be lifted up so that anyone who believes in Him would not perish but would have eternal life and, in this way, all men would be drawn to look to Him for salvation.
Sometimes when things don't go our way, or when we get bored with always doing the right thing, it is easy to lose our trust in God and our interest in reading the Bible. But that's why the Lord sent his Holy Spirit to help us when we become weak in our faith. We must ask Him to give us a love for the Word of God, and to help us understand and apply what we read.
When we continue to rely on and trust in Him, He will help us not to sin and give us strength to stay faithful. But if we do sin, we must always ask for forgiveness, for He is faithful and just to forgive our trespasses, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for his mercy and grace!
Sin is like a snake bite. First it pricks you and then it lets you suffer, as its poison spreads throughout your body. Look to Jesus to be forgiven and be saved.
1. Who refused the Israelites passage through their land? Why?
2. Who became the high priest after Aaron?
3. The Israelites were bored with eating what?
4. What is manna a picture of?
5. Have you become bored of hearing the Word of God?
6. What are snakes a picture of in God's eyes?
7. What does the bronze serpent on the pole illustrate?
8. What did the people have to do to become saved and healed?
9. What must we do to be forgiven, saved and healed?
VERSE TO LEARN:
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
ALTERNATE VERSES TO LEARN:
"Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents" (1 Corinthians 10:9).
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Psalm 119:9).
"The sting of death is sin...But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending your Son,
Jesus Christ, Who bore our sins and died on the cross
in our place. Help us to love and hunger to know
your Word better and never grow bored with it.
Forgive our sins and teach us to obey your Word.
In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
BIBLE STORY ARCHIVE
Moses and the Snake Coloring Page
Bronze Serpent Coloring Page
Moses Coloring Page
Moses with Bronze Serpent (color online)
Israel's Enslavement in Egypt color online
Moses Bible story coloring page — Pharaoh
Plagues of Egypt Coloring Pages
Ten Plagues of Egypt Coloring Page
The Bronze Snake coloring page
The Ten Commandments Coloring and Activity Book (ages 5-7)
Bible Heroes: Moses Colouring Book
Coloring Through the Bible
Beginner's Bible Super-Duper Mighty Jumbo Coloring Book
Bible Stories Kids Love Coloring Book (ages 2 to 4)
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, Coloring Book
My Bible Coloring Book
Thru-the-Bible Coloring Pages
Action Bible Coloring Book
Children's Bible Coloring Books
Fill in the Blanks
Bible Verse for 6 Students
Family Quizzles: Exit Us Out of Egypt-Moses
God's Big 10 Matching Game
God's Big 10 Puzzle, 24 Pieces
Life of Moses Bingo Game
Moses and Exodus Games and Puzzles
Moses and the Ten Plagues activity sheet
Moses and the Plagues Bingo Game
Moses and the Ten Plagues Tales of Glory Play Set
Moses: Connect the Dots
Moses Disobeys God activities
Moses (Exodus) Printable Worksheets
Moses Game Board
Moses Poster Sticker Book
Moses Trading Cards
Ten Plagues of Egypt Activity
Exit Us Out of Egypt Family Quizzles
The Bronze Serpent activities
The Fiery Serpent Quiz
The Story of Moses Reusable Sticker Book
Best Book of Bible Activities
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
Fun with Secret Codes Coloring & Activity Book, Ages 4-7
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
The Super Sized Book of Bible Puzzles
Memory Verse Games for Kids
Painting Book 1 - Bible Stories
Big Book of Bible Puzzles for Preteens
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1
Jumbo Bible Activity Book 4
Christian and educational toys
Children's Activity Books
Games for Christian families
Braided Snake Craft
Easy Bronze Serpent Craft
Moses and Exodus Crafts
Moses Clothespin Figure with Sandbox Bible Scene Display
Moses' Special Staff Craft for Preschoolers
Paper Cup Snake Puppet Craft
Paper Plate Character Masks — Moses
Shepherd Toilet Paper Roll Craft
Bible Verse Treasure Hunt
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 3-6)
Bible-in-Life: Preschool Make It/Take It (Craft Book), Spring 2019
Echoes: Early Elementary Make It/Take It (Craft Book), Spring 2019
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
More! Bible Crafts on a Shoe String Budget: Paper Sacks & Cardboard Tubes (Reproducible: Ages 5-10)
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Praise God with Paper Plates (Reproducible: PreK-Grade 2)
A People on the Move: Moses, Miriam, Aaron, & the Exodus of the Hebrew People
Arch Books Bible Stories: Moses and the Bronze Snake
Comic Book Bible, Volume 2 - From Jacob to Moses
Egypt - From Joseph to Moses - eBook
Follow and Do: God's Ten Commandments
God Said and Moses Led
Good and Evil: The Bible As Graphic Novel
HOBC Bible Big Book: Moses
Let's Go Explore: Egypt Moses and the King (I Can Read)
Moses and the King - eBook
Moses and the Long Walk
Moses (Tiny Readers)
Moses Board Book
Moses comic book
Moses' Dry Feet
Moses/John Flip-Over Book
Moses God's Brave Servant
Moses in Egypt Homeschool Flash-a-Card Bible Story
Moses Leads the People
Moses the Leader: Used by God
Moses the Shepherd: Chosen by God
Moses the Traveler: Guided by God
Power Bible: Bible Stories to Impart Wisdom, # 2 - Moses, Leader of the Israelites
Read-Aloud Bible Stories, Volume 3
The Frog and the Plagues
The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt
The Passover Lamb - eBook
The Story of Moses (Baby's First Bible)
The Story of Passover Board Book
The Super Heroes Bible: The Quest for Good Over Evil - eBook
The Ten Commandments Arch Books
365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories
365 Activities For Kids:
A Bible Story And Activity For Each Day Of The Year
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Beginner's Bible, New and Updated Edition
Bible in Pictures For Toddlers
Egermeier's Bible Storybook for Beginners
Early Reader's Bible
The Action Storybook Bible
The Children's Illustrated Bible
The Preschooler's Bible
Pilgrim's Progress Comic
Spanish Children's Books
The Picture Bible (also in Spanish)
Abeka Bible Truth DVD #12: Plagues & Passover; Marah, Elim & Manna
The Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible: Moses DVD
Abeka Bible Truth DVD #12: Plagues & Passover; Marah, Elim & Manna
Adventures in Odyssey® 190: Moses, the Passover, Part 1 of 2 [Download]
Bible Comes Alive, Volume 1 Your Story Hour, CD
Bible Comes Alive Volume 2 Your Story Hour 4 CDs
Bible on the Go Vol. 09: The Holy Tent and the Golden Calf
(Exodus 26, 32, 40) - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]
Bible on the Go Vol. 08: The Desert Journey and the Ten Commandments
(Exodus 13-16, 19-20, 24, 26) - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]
Bible Stories: Moses
Escape from Egypt: Moses and the Ten Plagues (watch online)
Greatest Heroes & Legends: Last Supper, Miracle of Jesus, Story of Moses DVD
Kids Ten Commandments, 3 DVD Set
Kids Ten Commandments 1-5 DVD Gift Set
Let My People Go! The Story of Exodus Superbook DVD
Moses Prince of Egypt, DVD
Moses: The Musical Sight & Sound Moses DVD
Bible Comes Alive Volue 2 Your Story Hour 4 cd's
The Last Supper, Animated DVD
The Old Testament Bible Stories for Children: Moses: The Exodus, DVD
The Story of Moses (Greatest Heroes)
The Ten Commandments: Moses the Law Superbook DVD
Veggie Tales Heroes of the Bible
VeggieTales: Moe and the Big Exit: A Lesson in Followin' Directions
What's in the Bible Vol. 2: Let My People Go—Exodus
What's the Manna With You (Moses), Bugtime Adventures DVD
Bugtime Adventures: What's A Manna With You? [Streaming Video Rental]
The Animated Kid's Bible (3-DVD Set)
The Beginner's Bible Box Set, 4 DVDs
#1: Read and Share: The Ultimate DVD Bible Storybook
God's Story from Creation to Eternity (listen & watch online)
Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible: The Complete Series
The Bible Collection, DVD Gift Set
The Bible MiniSeries DVD Set
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit
Bible story DVDs
As Moses Lifted Up the Serpent in the Wilderness Bible Song
Every Moment of Every Day (listen online)
Only To Be What He Wants Me To Be [Music Download]
Sir Oliver's Song CD (listen online)
The Ten Commandments [Buddy Davis Music Download]
The Ten Commandments [Wonder Kids Music Download]
100 Ways To Know God Loves Me & 100 Songs
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs
Action Bible Songs
Bible Songs on CD
Bible Songs on DVD
100 Singalong Bible Songs For Kids
25 Favorite Sunday School Songs
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Bronze Snake on a Pole lesson
LIFEPAC: The Story of Moses
On The Way for 9-11s, Book 4
The Bronze Snake Lesson Ideas
The Story of Moses for Kids
801 Questions Kids Ask About God
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher
Bible Memory Games
Bible Story Coloring Pages Vol. 2
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit
Big Book of Bible Games
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
FREE materials to Bible schools, Bible colleges, seminaries, churches, missionaries & individuals worldwide
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Gift & Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Ideas
Memory Verse Resources
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Seven Laws of the Learner
Sunday school resources
Talking to God
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives
The Big Book of Bible Skits
Things To Make Craft Activities
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
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