Message from Dr. Jack Gatlin
Behold the Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! 6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The Lord said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
As the Israelites trudged through the vast wilderness, with nothing to eat or drink except the manna, they became wary of eating the manna, remembering the food that they had left behind in Egypt, and began to speak against Moses and God. God responded to their rebellion, their complaints, and ungratefulness by affecting them with venomous snakes. Their constant complaining angered God as he had interceded and responded to previous complaints from the Israelites since leaving Egypt. With the arrival of the venomous snakes the Israelites recognized that they had sinned and begged Moses to intercede for them and to pray that God would remove the snakes and to send a cure for the snakebites. They may still get bitten but they would live as God offered healing form the bites it they would look upward toward the bronze snake on the pole. God could have healed them immediately and removed the snakes, but he gave them instructions they were to follow which required that they repent and cease their complaining and increase their obedience, trust and faith before they could recover from the bites.
God's provision of healing during these passages portrays God's mercy and forgiveness as a result of repentance. These verses are considered somewhat instructive showing us that even through our worst failures and disappointments God is willing to show mercy and He will provide. He offers healing for our wounds, relationships to sustain us when we are lonely, and increases our faith when we began to lose hope. God may not remove the source of our suffering but He is faithful and will make the journey with us, providing what we most need, if we will reach out to him and ask for His forgiveness. He will give us His comfort and strength when we ask in the name of his son, Jesus Christ.
Check out the latest news from Maye River!
Free Lunch Every Tuesday at 12:30; Bible Study followed by. Ladies Bible Study at 1:30 p.m. Come join us on Tuesday's Everyone is welcome!
Adult Choir Practice No choir practice this week.
Prayer and Bible Study every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Men's Bible Study will be on every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. "Come Join Us" as we study the Word of God. We will be studying Revelation in the upcoming weeks.
Praise Team practice Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Men's Breakfast, Saturday, August 16, at 8:00 a.m.
WOM "Joy" Group, Saturday, August 16
Discipleship Class, Sunday evenings 5:00 p.m.
Vertical for Grades 6 - 12 at Sunday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
GA's, RA's and Youth Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
Thanks to Lee McNally for sharing her vocal talent with our congregation. Beautiful song!
Thanks to Jerry Whittle and Mike Holloway for working with our youth in the RA program.
Verse of the Day
Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is the Strength of my Life. (KJV)