Look and Live--April 10th, 2005

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Staff member
From Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook"

Look and Live
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shalt come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live"
(Numbers 21:8).

This is a glorious gospel type. Jesus, numbered with the transgressors, hangs before us on the cross. A look to Him will heal us of the serpent-bite of sin; will heal us at once -- "When he looketh upon it, he shall live." Let the reader who is mourning his sinfulness note the words -- "Everyone that looketh upon it shall live." Every looker will find this true. I have found it so. I looked to Jesus and lived at once, I know I did. Reader, if you look to Jesus you will live, too. True, you are swelling with the venom, and you see no hope. True, also there is no hope but this one. But this is no doubtful cure -- "Everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live."

The brazen serpent was not lifted up as a curiosity to be gazed upon by the healthy; but its special purpose was for those who were "bitten." Jesus died as a real Savior for real sinners. Whether the bite has made you a drunkard, or a thief, or an unchaste or a profane person, a look at the great Savior will heal you of these diseases and make you live in holiness and communion with God. Look and live.


Puritan Board Junior
Thanks Joshua. Reading this devotion reminded me of the story of Spurgeon's account of his conversion as a young boy. It was in connection with the preaching of the text, Isaiah 45:22, "œLook to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other."

The account of his conversion is on the web I'm sure, but for those who haven't heard or read it, I'll give it as Spurgeon related it below...

I had been about five years in the most tearful distress of mind, as a lad. If any human being felt more of the terror of God's law, I can indeed pity and sympathize with him. Bunyan's "Grace abounding" contains, in the main, my history. Some abysses he went into I never trod: but some into which I plunged be seems to have not known.

I thought the sun was blotted out of my sky that I had sinned so against God that there was no hope for me. I prayed the Lord knoweth how I prayed: but I never had a glimpse of an answer that I know of. I searched the Word of God; the promises were more alarming than the threatenings. I read the privileges of the people of God, but with the fullest persuasion that they were not for me. The secret of my distress was this: I did not know the Gospel. I was in a Christian land; I had Christian parents, but I did not fully understand the freeness and simplicity of the Gospel.

I attended all the places of worship in the town where I lived, but I honestly believe that I did not hear the Gospel fully preached. I do not blame the men, however. One man preached the divine sovereignty. I could hear him with pleasure; but what was that to a poor sinner who wished to know what he should do to be saved? There was another admirable man who always preached about the law; but what was the use of plowing up ground that needed to be sown? Another was a great, practical preacher. I heard him, but it was very much like a commanding officer teaching the maneuvers of war to a set of men without feet. What could I do? All his exhortations were lost on me. I knew it was said. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," but I did not know what it was to believe in Christ.

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, when I was going to a place of worship. When I could go no farther, I turned down a court and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel. In that chapel there might be a dozen or fifteen people. The minister did not come that morning; snowed up, I suppose. A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach.

Now, it is well that ministers should be instructed, but this man was really stupid, as you would say. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.

There was, I thought, a gleam of hope for me in the text. He began thus: "My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, "Look." Now that does not take a deal of effort. It aint lifting your foot or your finger, it is just 'look.' Well, a man may not be worth a thousand a year to look. may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not go to college to learn to look. You anyone can look; a child can look. But this is what the text says. Then it says, 'Look unto Me.' "Ay," said he, in broad Essex, "many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. Youll never find comfort in yourselves. Some look to God, the Father. No, look to Him by and by. Jesus Christ says, 'Look unto Me.' Some of you say, 'I must wait the Spirit's working.' You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. It runs: 'Look unto Me'." Then the good man followed up his text in this way: "Look unto Me; I am hanging on the cross; Look! I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend; I am sitting at the Father's right hand. O! look to Me! Look to Me!"

When he had gotten about that length, and managed to spin out ten times or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I dare say, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger. He then said, "Young man, you look very miserable." Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made on my personal appearance from the pulpit before. However, it was a good blow struck. He continued: "And you will always be miserablemiserable in life, and miserable in deathif you do not obey my text. But, if you obey now, this moment you will be saved."
Then he shouted as only a Primitive can, "Young man, look to Jesus Christ!" I did "look."
There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun. I could have risen that moment and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh that somebody had told me that before. TRUST Christ, AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED.

C. H. Spurgeon


Puritan Board Professor
Thanks, Josh and David, for the devotion and for Spurgeon's testimony. What a blessing!

Look and Live
1. I´ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
This message unto you I´ll give,
´Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you "œlook and live."

* Refrain:
"œLook and live," my brother, live,
Look to Jesus now, and live;
´Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you "œlook and live."

2. I´ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
´Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ´tis true.

3. Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you´ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.

4. I will tell you how I came, hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole"”
´Twas believing on His name, hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.

[Edited on 4-10-2005 by blhowes]
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