Participants: Martin Fancher (Host)
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000289
00:31 Hello, and welcome to another Faith Chapel.
00:34 I am Martin Fancher.
00:35 I Pastor the DeFuniak Springs and
00:37 Fort Walton Beach Seventh-day Adventist
00:39 Churches. It's my privilege to be here
00:41 today to share with you a subject that's important
00:43 to my heart that I have been entitled
00:45 "Look and Live." Before we get into today's study,
00:50 would you bow your head with me as
00:51 we invite the Lord's presence to be here.
00:54 Father in heaven, open our hearts and minds
00:57 that there may be in tune with you.
00:59 Send the Holy Spirit to us to open our
01:03 hearts and minds. We may truly understand
01:06 the message from you for us today,
01:09 for we pray these things in Jesus name, Amen.
01:14 I felt for a long time that one of the
01:16 particular temptations for maturing Christians
01:20 is the danger of getting accustomed to the
01:23 blessings of God. Yes, like the world traveler
01:27 that's been everywhere, no matter where they go,
01:31 they can kind of I've been there,
01:33 I've seen that it's old to me.
01:36 Well, I believe that's dangerous for us as
01:39 Christians to take for granted that which God
01:43 in His love has given to each one of us.
01:46 In fact, it was the poet Emerson that said,
01:48 if the stars came out only once a year,
01:51 everyone would stay up all night to behold them,
01:55 he's implying that because the stars do come out
01:58 every night and we see them so often that
02:00 we miss the mighty handy work of our creator
02:04 by not looking up and seeing what He has made
02:07 for us to enjoy. Let's take a look at the
02:10 Israelites of old and see how they became
02:13 accustomed to the blessings of God.
02:15 You have your Bible, we'll turn to
02:17 Number 21, verse 4 through 9.
02:22 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way
02:25 of the Red sea, to go around the land of Edom;
02:28 and the soul of the people became very discouraged
02:31 on the way. And the people spoke against God
02:33 and against Moses: "Why have you brought us up
02:36 out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?
02:38 For there is no food and no water,
02:41 and our soul loathes this worthless bread."
02:44 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among
02:46 the people, and they bit the people;
02:48 and many of the people of Israel died.
02:51 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said,
02:55 "we have sinned, for we have spoken against
02:58 the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord
03:01 that He take away the serpents from us."
03:03 So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said
03:07 to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent,
03:08 and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone
03:11 who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live."
03:15 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it
03:18 on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten
03:21 anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent,
03:24 he lived. Wow! What a miraculous story
03:28 we find here but we also find some clues to
03:32 dissatisfaction and the discouragement of the
03:35 children of Israel. The first complaint
03:37 we find out is there complaint over this bread,
03:40 they've grown accustomed to that
03:41 is to say in our language they've been eating
03:44 it too long and were growing tired.
03:47 Well, we know that as the holy manna,
03:49 the manna that God provided everyday along
03:53 their journey but Oh! If only that were the only
03:56 thing that He discouraged them,
03:58 but no, we can go back and we can find out
04:01 that they started to be discourage from the very
04:04 beginning while still in bondage in Egypt.
04:09 Moses came at the biding of God,
04:13 confronted the Pharaoh and now they were tasked
04:17 to make bricks with no straw so they
04:19 complained to Moses, finally God threw the
04:23 plagues, allowed the Pharaoh to release
04:27 His chosen people and Moses led them away,
04:29 among they came to the sea, they were standing
04:32 there when Pharaoh's army comes up behind them
04:35 and the people seeing that they were trapped
04:37 between the Pharaoh's army and the sea,
04:40 said to Moses why have you brought us out
04:42 here to die. Again another discouragement,
04:45 and then in the chapter proceeding this one
04:48 on the snakes we find that they were out
04:50 of water and God allowed Moses to provide water
04:53 for them but they were complaining,
04:55 seems like complaining for the children of God
04:57 seems to be an everyday occurrence but I hope
05:00 that we will learn some lessons and realize
05:03 that we are God's people, we have absolutely
05:07 nothing to complain about.
05:10 Well, one of the evidences that
05:12 we've that we've grown accustomed
05:14 in our spiritual walk is that we tend to be
05:17 critical and we tend to complain about the
05:20 little things of lives way when in reality
05:23 we will discover that we are so immensely
05:26 blessed and the little things that we think
05:30 are causes for discouragement
05:33 and complaint. When put into prospective
05:36 really have no meaning whatsoever.
05:39 Well, there was the pillar by a fire that
05:42 led them by day and there was the,
05:45 that by night rather and the cloud that led
05:48 them by day. Here was the manifestation of
05:50 God's presence Himself right there in their midst.
05:55 They knew God was there, of course we have
05:58 earthly sanctuary that was there,
06:00 and we find that through all of this
06:03 there was still a complaint over what
06:06 God was or rather what they thought
06:09 God was not doing that He should be.
06:12 I hope that we can learn some lessons
06:15 there because God should be telling us
06:17 what to do and not we telling God what to do?
06:20 Well, the people grumbled against Moses
06:23 and against God ultimately and what they didn't
06:27 realize was that the serpents that
06:29 around the camp, the natural enemies of the
06:31 people through their wondering were being
06:34 held by the protective covering of God,
06:38 and when the people complained against God,
06:41 God's simply remind them by removing the hedge
06:45 of protection around them and when that
06:47 hedge of protection was loosed the serpents
06:50 which formerly could not get through,
06:53 made their way into the camp, and they're called
06:56 fiery serpents for a reason its because
06:59 their bite was fiery and it was fast pain
07:04 and a fast death. Wow! Now all of a sudden
07:10 they lay there, some of them in agony,
07:13 some of them dying, loved ones looking at
07:17 their relatives who are bit and immediately
07:21 they are confronted with their own guilt.
07:25 They understand that it was their complains
07:29 against the living God, that caused God
07:32 to catch their attention and remove
07:35 His protective covering. Well, now of course,
07:38 as we know their tune changed immediately,
07:41 immediately they put a delegation together
07:43 and went to look at Moses. Moses they said,
07:46 we have sinned against God.
07:49 What do we need to do? Moses being the emissary
07:54 makes contact with God and God gives him
07:57 the answer through a method of salvation
08:01 that is very, very unique. God didn't send doctors,
08:06 God didn't send miracles to do that snakes away,
08:10 God didn't send people to touch,
08:13 God in fact used the symbol of the snake
08:17 to save them from the snake.
08:20 That's also where the symbol today
08:22 for the medical practice gets their symbol
08:25 of the snake around the pole is right here
08:28 from the verses we have looked at today.
08:31 And now as we look Moses fashions a serpent
08:38 and he puts it on a pole with a simple words
08:42 "Look and Live." Wow! Those are powerful words
08:48 even for today, for if we understood the power
08:51 and that there, we have the chance to look
08:53 to Jesus and be saved maybe more of us
08:57 would look at Jesus. Well, the Bible continues
09:02 to tell us that even though they found
09:04 that way, they still had to look.
09:08 Picture it with me, there are moms and dads,
09:11 grandmas and grandpas maybe grandchildren
09:13 that are going after their loved ones,
09:16 they are looking for them and they are finding them,
09:18 they're turning their beds, they're turning
09:21 their heads to get a glimpse of the serpent,
09:24 that's up on this pole. And the Bible records
09:28 that all who looked were healed.
09:33 You know, what would cause a
09:35 person not to look.
09:41 We will go back to the story in the
09:44 Old Testament where Naaman was sick
09:48 with the disease, and he was asked by the
09:52 prophet of God to go and dip seven times
09:55 in the river. Now, thankfully Naaman
10:00 had a little Christian servant girl with him
10:02 or the story might not be exactly how
10:05 we receive it today and that is he dipped
10:09 in the river and nothing changed.
10:12 He dipped in the river again
10:14 and nothing changed. He dipped in the river again
10:17 and nothing changed. His faith was growing
10:21 weak and I imagine his anger was moving north,
10:27 but the little girl who had trust in God said
10:32 to him if he the prophet of God had asked you
10:36 to do great things, paid great sums of money,
10:39 you would have done it, but God has not asked
10:44 you to do great things.
10:45 He has asked you to do this.
10:48 And the Bible records the wonderful miracle
10:51 that as he came out of the water,
10:53 the seventh time, he was fully healed
10:59 but he was almost not healed.
11:01 If he had got out of the water after six times,
11:03 six out of seven, doesn't make it so.
11:05 Following after God requires a full
11:09 commitment from the heart.
11:12 God through Moses wanted to make that clear
11:15 to his people. As we continue looking through
11:20 this story we discovered there are yet other
11:22 parallels that we can see, Moses prayed for
11:27 the people. He didn't just pray to God for
11:30 an answer, he prayed on behalf of the people.
11:34 If you remember Moses felt that these people
11:37 were his people, he took responsibility for them
11:41 to the point where he told God if you can't save
11:43 them then don't save me.
11:46 Oh! The Bible says true love.
11:48 There was no greater love then this when a man
11:51 lays down his life for another, that's exactly
11:54 what Moses was doing. He was working,
11:58 he was being an intermediary between
12:01 God's people and his people that God had
12:06 choose him to lead. Well, the Lord said to Moses,
12:10 make the fiery serpent, set it on a pole,
12:12 so that everyone who is beaten shall look and live.
12:15 Now it's interesting if I have been there
12:19 that time I would have certainly like to provision
12:21 to beat that anybody that looks at it.
12:22 Who hasn't beaten yet won't get beat.
12:26 See God didn't take the serpents away.
12:31 God simply made provision for those who were bit.
12:38 See it's only the sinner that stands in need
12:41 of repentance, forgiveness, and needs
12:44 the cleansing of God. Jesus didn't come to
12:47 die for those. They didn't need that
12:50 which of course the Bible says, we've all sinned
12:52 and fallen short of the glory of God and
12:55 praise be to God that He did send Jesus
12:57 for each one of us. Not only did the people
13:01 grumble against God and God took matters
13:03 into His hand, removing His protective hand.
13:06 God also had the people come to a realization
13:10 and admit their complicity in the sin.
13:15 It was a sin to complain against God,
13:21 and God removed that protective hand
13:23 and once they realized that it was their
13:25 complaining that brought this on them.
13:28 I believe that the complaining stopped,
13:33 at least on those that wanted to get better,
13:35 true repentance requires a change of heart.
13:39 If I hit someone and then say I am sorry
13:41 and then hit him again, was I truly sorry?
13:43 No, of course not. To remorse is turning away
13:48 from sin. I won't do that again.
13:52 Well, God's plan for salvation offered
13:56 this simple solution. The solution of putting
13:59 the snake and having people look,
14:02 they didn't have to touch it,
14:03 they simply hadn't to have the faith to look.
14:09 I don't know if I had been there what kind
14:12 of faith I had but I would certainly hope that
14:15 I had a living faith that took God at His word.
14:19 They had so much history together,
14:21 they had just been rescued from Egypt,
14:24 they had gone against obstacles.
14:26 I don't know about you but just simply walking
14:29 through the red sea with the water parted would
14:32 have really shown me the ultimate power of God,
14:36 and the pillar of fire at night in the cloud by day
14:39 for them follow would have always been visual
14:41 reminders to me that God was here.
14:46 But as we said earlier about the stars
14:49 in the sky, sometimes that which is right in
14:52 front of us, often time is missed because
14:57 we've grown accustom to looking at it.
15:01 I wonder my friend, if you and I have become
15:03 too accustom to church, to religion,
15:09 to Bible study, to prayer that it has become
15:12 common place to us, and if it has then in our lives
15:17 it will have lost it's power.
15:21 Oh! Like a power tool that's not plugged
15:25 in has no value, so a Christian not plugged
15:29 into the power of almighty God doesn't
15:32 have much use either. We need to plug in
15:36 and tap the true source in our lives today.
15:40 Just as Moses lifted the serpent upon that pole
15:45 those who looked upon it were saved.
15:52 I don't know how many were lost that day,
15:55 who chose not to look because right here in our
15:59 day people refuse to look to God for help.
16:05 Oh! It's much easier to blame God then it is to
16:09 look for real solution then to trust God
16:13 it's far easier to blame Him as the cause and
16:18 move away. But my friend, the story in the
16:21 Old Testament is not a story that has no value
16:25 for us today. For that text that we read just
16:30 moments ago is the same text referred to in the
16:34 New Testament. We're going to look at
16:36 John chapter 3 verse 14 through 17, read with me,
16:41 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent
16:45 in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man
16:48 be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him
16:52 should not perish but have eternal life.
16:56 For God so loved the world that He gave
17:00 His only begotten Son, that whoever believes
17:04 in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17:09 For God did not send His son to the world to
17:11 condemn the world, but that the world
17:14 through Him might be saved.
17:16 Did you catch that last part in there?
17:18 God did not send His son into the world to
17:21 condemn us in our sin, He send His son to
17:23 save us from our sin. Now there's a power
17:27 there my friend. There is nothing that we can do
17:30 that will cause God not to love us and not
17:33 to want us. There is no sin that's too big for
17:36 God to forgive into forget, there is no sin
17:40 so great unless we get so big that we refuse
17:45 to ask forgiveness for that sin.
17:47 My friend that's what happens when we begin
17:50 to complain when you see a little bit of bitter
17:52 spirit within you, maybe it's time to do
17:54 a little math. Time to add it often see,
17:56 am I becoming spiritually dull?
18:01 Am I becoming too accustomed to the
18:06 blessings of God that what I see no longer
18:10 add up to me as a blessing, and if that's
18:13 the case then we need to pray that God will
18:15 open our hearts and change us from
18:17 the inside out. God wants to save us,
18:20 we must want to be saved.
18:23 Well, just as Jesus sent His Son to die on the
18:29 cross for us and He put that snake on the pole,
18:32 the Son of God had to be lifted up,
18:35 and placed on that pole and of course we called
18:37 that Calvary. We know that God send His son
18:40 so that all of us who believe in Him
18:43 there's a key, not everybody but everybody
18:45 who believes in Him should not perish but
18:48 be able to live eternally. What a blessing that
18:54 God has in that verse. But it doesn't end there,
18:58 that verse continues that says,
19:01 God didn't send the Son to condemn it but
19:04 that the world through Him might be saved.
19:08 You and I have a great need to look upon the
19:11 uplifted Savior today. This very moment
19:14 and every moment He offers to us the
19:18 opportunity to look to Calvary.
19:23 You can turn on the news, pick up any newspaper
19:28 and read of the natural disasters that are
19:30 occurring all across the country,
19:33 all across the world; hurricanes, tornadoes,
19:36 avalanches it doesn't matter what they are only
19:39 the names are changed, the devastation is real.
19:43 And the person in the midst of that devastation
19:46 if they don't turn to see God where God could
19:51 help but rather instead complain that the Lord
19:55 took my house, it flooded, the wind blow it over
19:58 and missed the blessing of God's spread
20:01 their lives maybe they have become too accustomed
20:06 to the blessings of God and are missing the
20:10 everyday blessing. In fact, for those who
20:14 are listening, God blessed us with life today.
20:18 We woke up this morning and God indeed
20:22 is responsible for that and we thank Him
20:24 for every breath, every heart beat that
20:28 we have belongs to Him. The people of God
20:33 were changed when Moses picked up that pole,
20:36 people looked and they lived, the hedge of
20:40 protection was no longer there for the serpents.
20:43 They continued to come into the camp because
20:45 it's implied by the fact that everyone who was
20:49 beaten could look and they continue to look but
20:51 amazingly enough if you were beaten and
20:54 you looked you were saved. Oh! It is the savior
21:02 who calls us to Him each and everyday of our lives.
21:06 He bids us the same as we see here in these
21:10 verses to simply look and live, oh I pray
21:15 it's your desire that you want to
21:16 look and to live for Jesus this day and everyday
21:21 because Jesus died that we might live forever.
21:27 For God's so love the world that He gave
21:30 His only begotten Son. That's true love.
21:36 Love that God has for us that knows no bounds.
21:41 God gave His Son. Now, as we look to the
21:46 ending of world, as we just look to
21:50 live day by day, may we see a peaceful spirit
21:57 in us for Jesus promise to give us a peace
21:59 that passes all understanding,
22:01 He promised never to leave us or forsake us.
22:04 He promise never to give us more
22:07 then we can endure. Oh! My friend I know
22:09 there are days when it seems like that line
22:11 is being pressed that the load is getting heavy
22:14 and that there is not one more step we could take.
22:18 But our faithful Father above.
22:21 In the wisdom that only God can have knows
22:24 how much is enough, and He will always allow
22:28 us to have a chance at salvation.
22:34 So when we look we have the same opportunity
22:38 to live as the children of Israel in Moses day.
22:43 Look at Jesus and live.
22:48 It's a fun thing to be able to see how God
22:52 works in mysterious ways. We pray for one
22:55 thing someone else prays for another.
22:57 How does God deal with that?
23:00 God does what is best for each one of us.
23:04 God looks at us and He causes us to change.
23:10 We don't change God's mind as much as
23:12 God changes ours. He draws us to Him,
23:17 He causes us to see Him as He truly is which
23:23 in turn will cause me to see me as I truly am,
23:28 poor, blind, naked, wretched all spiritually
23:33 tapped out. But praise be to God who is the
23:37 author and the finish of all things.
23:39 He can fulfill me and make my cup to run over,
23:45 that's I guarantee.
23:48 I would love to been a part of the
23:51 children of Israel, with the snakes story
23:54 we just read. I would have been incredible
23:56 to see what would have happened after that.
23:58 The Bible is silent on what happen.
24:01 One thing there is not silent about,
24:04 it was not the end of the grumbling.
24:08 It was not the end of the complaining and
24:10 in fact, we can go all the way through Numbers,
24:12 all the ways through remainder of the
24:14 Old Testament and all the way through to the
24:16 end of the New Testament and we can
24:18 still find the children of God complaining.
24:22 Oh! God wants to give us a peace.
24:25 He wants to give us the strength to overcome
24:30 that which inside our sinful hearts
24:34 wants to do. Oh! I love to complain,
24:35 I feel good when I complain.
24:37 Actually sometimes less I complain to someone
24:40 who actually has it worse then I do then
24:42 I feel bad. But we have a way around that,
24:45 we complain and then we run, don't give them
24:48 the opportunity to complain or share back
24:51 that's not how God would have it to be.
24:53 God wants us as Christians, Bible believing
24:57 Christians to be the happiest people around.
24:59 We are to be satisfied Paul says,
25:02 to be satisfied with what we have.
25:06 And if we are truly satisfied
25:08 we've what we have. We will have that peace
25:13 and contentment and not feel the need or desire
25:18 to bicker or complain against anyone.
25:22 Let alone complain against Almighty God.
25:26 And so today would be the best opportunity
25:31 that one could take to make a recommitment
25:34 to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
25:38 As Jesus was lifted up to save the world
25:41 so those in the world as we look up on
25:44 His face can be saved.
25:48 Do you want to be saved today?
25:50 Do you want to take this opportunity to invite
25:54 Jesus into your hearts, is never to let young
25:58 or old whether you've done it once
26:01 or hundred times before.
26:04 Now is the acceptable time,
26:08 Jesus wants sin so bad.
26:11 All we have to do is let Him in.
26:15 For God so love the world it says,
26:19 that He gave. My response in love to Him
26:25 is to give myself fully and wholly to Him.
26:32 Can you do the same? Are you willing to make
26:35 that commitment? If so you will be able to
26:39 look and to live. Lets ask God to bless us.
26:44 Bow our heads as we pray. Father in heaven,
26:47 we thank you so much for the opportunity that
26:50 you give to us to look to Calvary
26:53 and live eternally. Thank you Father for
26:58 the gift of Jesus, thank you that
27:01 you will provide every day protection for us
27:04 and when we become accustomed and callous
27:08 to the very gifts you give, open our hearts
27:10 and eyes afresh that we may see as you would
27:14 have us to see. In appreciation not in
27:18 grumbling or complaining but in true, genuine
27:22 appreciation for what Jesus has done for us.
27:27 We pray these things in His name, Amen.
27:32 May God grant to you this day and everyday,
27:36 a new walk with Jesus and when you slip
27:41 and fall simply raise your eyes
27:45 to Jesus and look and live.