Numbers 19-21…The water of cleansing, the people continue to grumble, and the bronze snake.
In Numbers 19, the ashes of the heifer signified the merit of Christ, and the running water signified the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, who is compared to rivers of living water. It is by His work that the righteousness of Christ is applied to us for our cleansing.
God had consistently provided both food and water for the people. He had delivered them out of Egypt and had blessed them by protecting them and being with them. And yet, them complain about the taste of the food. Sounds a lot like us, complaining that things aren’t cooked perfectly, or that the flavor of something is off. Believers in impoverished countries serve as a good example to Americans, as they have not taken the provision of food for granted.
It was not the sight of the bronze snake that cured, but in looking up to it, they looked up to God as the Lord that healed them spiritually. This is a picture of the gospel. Our Savior declared, in John 3:14-15, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish.