Lenten Training Part 2 . . . Learn to Fight Like an Irishman
Numbers 21:4-9 (ESV): From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 21:5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 21:6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 21:7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 21:8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
II. Review today’s Old Testament text (Numbers 21:4-9)
A. Recall the backdrop to this passage
1. Why are they in this “Lenten” wilderness?
2. What pattern of sin & grace has been repeated?
B. Sin and judgment
1. What accusations do they make?
2. How does God respond to their sin?
3. What imagery do the fiery serpents evoke?
4. What grace does God extend? (2 Cor. 5:21)
5. What future grace is foreshadowed? (John 3:14, 15)
III. Consider earlier biblical imagery/symbols of serpents
A. Moses before Pharaoh (Ex 7:8-13)
B. The temptation of Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:1-7)
1. How was Eve tempted?
2. To what did Satan appeal? (Gen. 1:27, 28)
3. Where else do we see this “false trinity” in the
bible? How should it focus our warfare?
IV. Consider the temptation of Christ in the wilderness
A. The clash of the serpents (Luke 4:1-13)
1. How was Christ tempted?
2. To what did Satan appeal?
3. How did Christ defeat him?
V. Fight like Patrick who fought like Christ
A. The Armor of God (Eph 6:10-20)
1. What are we actually putting on? (Ps. 18:30; Ps. 91:4; Rom. 13:11-14) (St. Patrick’s Breastplate, The Lorica)
2. Against whom/what are we fighting? (Eph. 6:10-12)
3. How are we to fight?
a. Courage and humility (Patrick’s Confessio)
b. Discipline and prayer (Lenten Examples)