God’s Red-Headed (step) Child

This mornings first reading is from the book of Numbers and speaks to us of how the Isrealites after a time had grown tired of their journey, and complained against God, and were by and large not happy campers at all.   It goes on to speak about how God sent serpents to bite them, and some of them died from their wounds.   Eventually Moses prayed to God and God told Moses to make a serpent and put it on a pole so that anyone who looks upon the serpent should live.

OK so what is the story really saying to us ?  Does this mean that God is a full of vengance and anger ?   Does this mean that if we do not worship God that he will kill us ?  And why were they busy roaming around in the dessert anyway ?  Why didn’t God just snap his heavenly fingers and put the Isrealites in a cute little oasis by the sea complete with air conditioning and hot and cold running harems and all you can eat buffets ?

The point of the story is that God loves each of us.  He teaches us where we went wrong and eventually, if we listen, where we need to go or what we need to do.    If God did not love the Iseralites, he would have just let them go on doing what ever they wanted and the story would have gone differently for them.

Think about this for a moment.  How different are we from the Isrealites ?  Look at the people we see on a daily basis !   Do they not wander around their own dessert, complaining about this or that.  Wanting their lives to be different, to make more money, to be able to buy more, to get further ahead, to live in luxury so they dont have to work at all.    Do we not hear people complain against God and against their brothers and sisters ?

Have we not turned from God as well?  Abortion, Euthenasia , Secularism the attempts of our society to remove ANY trace of God from our schools, our social gatherings, our communities, our government.   Allowing greed to rule the hearts of men and women.

Then there are the serpents…   Sickness, abuse, hatred, discrimination, violence, crimes, drugs, and all other pieces of the serpent which plague our society today..

And like Moses, do we not call upon God at our hour of need, in our hours of desparation?  Sometimes in doubt or in fear isnt there a little bargaining that we hear going on ?  ” Oh Lord, if you just fix this for me I promise I will never ( insert your favorite argument here) again “!

In the end, there is God’s saving grace, God’s grace comes in different packages, and we dont always see it for what it is.  Sometimes it may be in the last minute that we recieve the grace we are pleading for, but it will be there.   If we are not quite so stubborn and we continue the search for wisdom, we may be see God’s hand in the situation.  We may not see the fruit of that work immediately.

The point would be, like the Isrealites, eventually you search for God.  You may not see the fruits of your searching in this life.  But that is , after all, why they call it faith.


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