Serpents in the Wilderness

The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
Numbers 21:7
There are some unpleasant stories in the scriptures. Near the top of the list of such stories is the one in the Book of Numbers where sinful Israel is plagued by poisonous snakes. Yet when Moses prayed for deliverance, God sent a way out of the problem.

I have never (thank God!) been surrounded by angry serpents. At least not literally. But I, too, have sinned by ignoring God, by not loving my neighbor, by ordering my life in such a way as to place God far too low in order of importance. Yet even when my faith is wavering, I know that there are people in my community of faith who are praying for me as Moses prayed for Israel. 

As I thank God on this last day of the year for all the forgiveness, the problems solved, and obstacles overcome during the year that is past, I am also thankful for the people whose patience and prayers have helped me through the wilderness of life.

You must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.
 Jude 1:22 (NLT)
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
You have brought me, gracious God, through the year. Accept my deep and loving thanks. I trust you for what you have withheld as I bless you for what you have given. May goodness and mercy bring me to the many mansions you have prepared, and may you be near me until the end.
 F.B. Meyer
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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