17 Then Israel sang this song:
"Spring up, O well!
Sing about it,..."
The Children of Israel have been traveling through the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land. A couple of verses earlier in Numbers 21 they were complaining again about the lack of food and water, so God taught them a lesson–He sent venomous snakes. The Israelites pleaded with Moses to pray to God to take the snakes away, and God answered their prayer with one of the most beautiful foreshadowings of Jesus in the Old Testament. God told Moses to put a bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who had been bitten by a poisonous snake and looked at the bronke snake on the pole would live.
We are the Children of Israel. We grumble and complain while we wander in the wilderness of this life--our lifelong march to our Promised Land, Heaven. We are constantly being bitten by the poisonous snake of sin and we are in sore need of a medicine that heals. Where does our help come from? Jesus is our bronze snake. My question? Why is the bronze serpent the foreshadowing of Christ? Why did God tell Moses to put a snake on the pole? A snake! The serpent in the Garden of Eden was the embodiment of the Devil. Why not put a lamb on the pole?
But today's verse comes after this well-known Bible story. The Children of Israel were moving north and were again in need of water. And just like a loving father gives his kids what they need when they need it, God told Moses to gather the people together and He would give them water. So the Children of Israel sang about it.
It seems strange that they didn't praise God in their song–they only praised the princes and nobles who dug the well. But isn't that the way we look at events in this life? We forget to thank God for His blessings, instead we praise (or curse) the water company who brings us the water. We are SO MUCH like the Children of Israel!