| | |

Salvation Stories in the OT: Look and Live

Recently I’ve been singing the hymn I share at the end of this post – Look to Jesus, now, and live! This is the gist of the story we find in Numbers 21:4 – 9.

The story

The Israelites had disobeyed God, choosing not to enter the promised land. So God told them they would wander in the desert for 40 years until that generation passed away. In their wanderings, they often grumbled and complained. They detested the gifts of God, the quail, and manna. The water was limited. They traveled along the Red Sea because Edom had not allowed them to pass through their land. Once again, they were impatient, speaking against both God and Moses. God sent venomous snakes to discipline them for their disrespectful, sinful attitudes. People were dying. Of course, now, they ask Moses for mercy, to ask God for relief. Moses prays; God responds.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

Numbers 21:8-9

Do you recall the Genesis story? “[Eve] saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” This is how sin and death were born – with that “look!”

Look and Live

Then in that famous discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus draws our attention back to this serpent on a pole:

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.

John 3:14-15 NLT

Jesus explained again in Jerusalem near the time of the Passover that “the time for judging this world [had] come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, [would] be cast out.” Then Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:31-32 NLT).

We look to Jesus dying on the cross, believing His death paid the penalty for our sins. In looking to Him, we are saved from the curse of the original serpent!

As the author of Hebrews says, we continue looking to Jesus because he is the one who initiates and completes our faith journey.

Let all the world look to me for salvation!
    For I am God; there is no other.
I have sworn by my own name;
    I have spoken the truth,
    and I will never go back on my word:
Every knee will bend to me,
    and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.”
The people will declare,
    “The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”

Isaiah 45:22 – 24a

A Hymn of Praise

I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give.
’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”

I’ve a message full of love, Hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you.
’Tis a message from above, Hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.

Life is offered unto you. Hallelujah!
Eternal life your soul shall have
If you’ll only look to Him. Hallelujah!
Look to Jesus, who alone can save.

I will tell you how I came, Hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole:
’Twas believing on His name, Hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.

“Look and live,” my brother, live.
Look to Jesus now and live.
’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”

W. A. Ogden
Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply