Across the desert, day by day,
The column moved; each step, each pace
Was measured by a Father’s hand
With watchful eye and tender grace.
The songs of praise, the joyful dance,
Were now a faded memory,
Replaced by trudging tedious step,
Monotony, the enemy.
The weariness of legs and feet
Translated with rapidity
To weariness of heart and soul
And tongue laced with acidity.
Just like a plague, the grumbling swelled
As Edom’s land was wide traversed,
The whinging murmurs spread like fire
And aggravated craving thirst.
And God, who knows the thought of man
And sees the word of mouth and mind,
With just and holy righteousness
Condemned the grumbling of mankind:
The grasses rustled quietly,
So gently it could scarce be seen
That gliding, twisting, silently
Venomous snakes did here convene.
Then struck the poisoned swift forked tongue,
Alarmed, all fled the slithering shape,
In fearful terror, sought to hide,
But many just could not escape.
One burning bite, one painful sting,
Sad loved ones watched, and wept, and cried.
Many’a family felt the pain
Many’a Child of Israel died.
There, in the face of sorrow, loss,
Results of sin starkly displayed,
The people, in repentance, called
‘Please pray for us’, and Moses prayed.
Oh may we just as keenly feel
The venom of the enemy ‘sin’
And fear its bite, and quickly pray
For healing from its hold within.
God’s open ear so quick to hear
Each call, each cry, each pain, each grief,
To every sufferer who will call
He pours His mercy and relief.
At God’s own Word a snake of brass
Was formed and coiled upon a pole,
Then firmly set into the ground
So all could look and be made whole.
‘Come quickly, come, look, look and gaze
On the bronze snake raised, lifted high,
For all who’ve felt the serpent’s sting,
You then will live, you will not die.’
‘Let nothing hinder your approach,
Let all your doubts be kept at bay,
Let coming be your one concern
Let not one sufferer stay away.’
Carried, and faint, and near to death,
The weak were brought that very hour
To gaze upon the brazen snake
And there they knew God’s healing power.
See Jesus hanging on the cross
And see Him pray ‘Father forgive’,
See His great love and hear Him speak:
‘Come unto Me, Come, Look and Live.’
‘Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.’ John 3:14-15
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