101 | Trusting a Strange Promise: Faith | George Hinman

Trusting a Strange Promise | Faith

John 3:16 & Numbers 21:4-9
April 22, 2018

Introduction:  Today’s story from the Old Testament book of Numbers comes after God has delivered His people from Egypt.  Under Moses’ leadership they are in the middle of their forty years of wandering before entering the Promised Land.  God delivered them with many powerful signs and has provided miraculous food –Manna- for them.  They have grumbled and rebelled many times. They have experienced the results of rebellion including having their journey in the wilderness extended from two years to forty.  In this week’s passage they are asked to trust a strange promise.

Prayer:  Lord guide us into your truth as we explore your Holy Word together.  Help us to gain insight into your perfect atonement for us as we examine your ways.  Grant us your mind to see the glory of your saving work.  Amen.

Read: John 3:14-16 & Numbers 21:4-9

Review:  What guidance did you receive through listening to God this week? 

Discussion:

1. What complaint did the Hebrew people have in the passage from Numbers 21?  Who did they blame for their situation?  For what did they ask God?

2. What was God’s plan for saving the people who were bitten by snakes?  What do you think about this plan?  What does this plan tell you about God’s character?  What questions do you have for God about this?

3. Jesus uses this story when talking to Nicodemus who was a teacher and ruling council member. (John 3:14-15 – See John 3:1-21 for the whole encounter) In what ways is the ‘snake on a stick’ a picture of what Jesus has done for us? 

4. Which is stranger to you: A bronze serpent on a pole or God’s son crucified?  Which is harder for you to trust?

Application: Think of things upon which you rely on in your life.  How will you move trusting God to the head of that list?  What changes in mindset and practice will you try this week in order to accomplish this?

Pray:  Lord, we believe. Help us overcome our unbelief.  Thank you that your disgrace in being hung on the cross has opened for us the way to salvation.  May we experience the joy of your salvation as we go forth from this time in your presence. Amen.

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