Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
And without faith, it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
This lesson is all about God. (I hope all of our lessons are.)
A perfect God richly provides for his people. His people grumble, complain, grow impatient, and even go so far as to hold in contempt for his failure to work according to their whims and wishes. God then brings judgment upon the people. Harsh judgment at that. But then God shows incredible mercy as he grants his people relief. He gives them a way of escape. He provides rescue for their sin and punishment.
We are reminded this week that the rescue he provided to his people in the wilderness was a shadow of the definitive and eternal rescue that he offers us in Christ. Jesus bore our sins as he hung on a stake, lifted up from the earth. His cross would symbolize the punishment we deserve and become the means of our deliverance.
We are reminded that as those who are saved through this beautifully horrible cross, we now serve as ambassadors, bringing the message of the gospel to a lost and dying world around us. We plead with those in our lives to be reconciled to God.
Israel had to look upon the bronze serpent by faith and in faith. We look to Christ today in faith. We call upon men and women to place their faith in Jesus alone.
When we encounter God in his holiness, and we see our wretched sin, and we understand that judgment is appropriate, and we grasp the fact that God sent his Son for us to rescue us, and we look upon this Son in faith, we receive the gift of eternal life from God himself.
Faith is at the heart of this lesson, but this lesson really is all about God.