There is a mystery in the account of the fiery serpents in Numbers 21:4-9. What became of those fiery serpents after Moses made a serpent of brass and set it upon a pole?
They had killed many people, but after Moses lifted up the serpent of brass we hear no more of the fiery serpents. What happened? We must conclude that when the people stopped staring at the serpents they had no more power to harm.
Jesus compared Himself to the serpent of brass that Moses set up in the wilderness and told us that we need to look up to Him to find healing from the serpent’s bite.
But there’s this serpent slithering toward me in the grass. I can’t just ignore it, can I? But the longer I stare at it, the less chance I have of escaping its bite. Then, when I feel the poison working through my being, I remember to look to Jesus, and I am healed.
The experience is so wonderful, I must tell others what Jesus has done for me. But still, there is danger all around me and I forget to keep looking up. What is that moving behind the rock over there? Isn’t that a serpent over there in the bushes? And I keep looking down at the danger, then glancing up at Jesus. And I never experience lasting victory over my fears.
What I need to do, and find so hard to trust that it will work, is to stop staring at serpents and fix my eyes on Jesus. Then the serpents have no more power to harm me.