God Uses the Foolish Things

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

I wanted to share something that stuck out with me during my bible study. Most know I am a bible nerd. Lately I have been learning so much and one of those things is about the difference between having a relationship and being religious. Last night I was reading in Numbers 21 and saw something I had never seen before.

I never wanted to read Numbers. Numbers in the bible was so boring to me. Yes, I said it. I think I only felt that way because I had just never really heard God speak to me through it. But since, I have been studying it this time, my eyes have been opened to more. I want to write about chapter 21: 4-9.

In this passage, the new generation Israelites are gearing up to enter the Promise Land. The old has died and the new is prepared to take on what God has promised. But then they start complaining about what they don’t have. These people are right on the threshold of the Promise Land and they start to sound so ungrateful. So, God has to do something. Before I move on, this is something that stuck out to me; that God wants us to have what he has promised. He is not looking down on us waiting for us to do something wrong so he can snatch all good things away. So sometimes to get our attention, he will do something drastic.

To get their attention, God sends snakes to bite the people. Yes, the exact words are ‘The Lord sent.’ When I read this, I had to stop and read it again. The Lord sent snakes? This is proof, that some storms come from God. He will allow things to happen in certain seasons, not only to grow us but to get our attention right before he is about to do something big.

So, the snakes are biting the people and then they go to Moses and ask him to pray to God to take them away. Now of course God could have done this and healed the people with a wave of His hand but he gave them an opportunity to be a part of the healing and learning to trust him. And so, He told Moses to make a bronze snake, tie it to a pole and put it up for people to look at it. When they look at it, they will recover.

Now this is crazy right? A bronze snake? Why a snake, when those are the things that are seen as evil in the bible? But to me, I thought about that snakes are still in the creation of God. God can use whatever he wants. Also, there is a similarity between the snake that Moses made and Jesus. Jesus himself made this comparison in John 3:14-15.

I study with the Enduring Word commentary and I love how they explained it;

A bronze snake is a metal associated with judgement in the bible because bronze must be made by passing through the fires of judgement. So, a bronze snake does speak of evil; but evil has been judged- just as Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us on the cross, and our sin was judged in Jesus. A bronze serpent is the picture of evil judged and dealt with.

This made me think about how sometimes we can operate in such a religious mindset that we miss the foolish thing that God is trying to use to get our attention. Have you ever been approached by someone who didn’t look like they were of God or have been told to do something but because other Christians shunned it, you looked at it as evil? But we don’t know how God is using these things or people to speak to us. We don’t know the judgement they have had to go through and the process they had to endure to be used by Him. This is why prayer is so important.

I bet that if Moses had never prayed, he would have never thought about making a bronze snake. Or maybe he would have made something else as an idol for the people. But because he was led by God, he was able to do what God told him to do and bring salvation and recovery to the people. There were some people who looked at the snake and thought it was so foolish and they perished. That’s something that is happening today. We are discounting the things that look foolish, that God may be using to get our attention.

This is not to say trust everything and everyone, because just like Moses, we still have to follow the leading of God. But don’t you think it’s interesting that creating something like this was often used to create an idol. Which creating idols was forbidden. And yet God sanctioned something that they could look to and be saved. To me this passage demolishes the religious mindset and the idea that we know God so well, that we can pinpoint what he will and wont use. Instead, a lot of times we are missing so much from God because we are unaware that he uses the foolish things. sit and think about think this; can you remember a time that God has spoken to you by using something foolish? You probably didn't know but you realized it later. Think about it and share with me. I want to hear your perspective.

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