Israel again complains about the Lord and Moses in 21:4. This comes straight after the Lords provision of water at Meribah. They have a very short memory. Notice there complaint in 21:5:
Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
After the Lord has just saved them from death in the desert by providing water. They complain why have you brought us to the desert to die where we have NO WATER!!!
The Lord sends judgment on these stiff necked people.
Then comes perhaps the most unusual life saving device in 21:8:
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
Those on the verge of death can look up a pole and find life.
Centuries later God would make a new way in which people could look up a pole and find life.Jesus declared he like the snake would be lifted up. This time not on a pole but on a wooden cross and this time not just life but eternal life.
Listen to John 3:14-17
14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e] 16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Israel given life through a snake on a pole. We receive eternal life through the son of man on a criminals wooden cross.
A most unusual life saving device.