Numbers 21:7, We have sinned, for we have spoken against YHVH. The Jewish sages teach that Israel was punished with serpents because they acted in the manner of the serpent who spoke slanderously against Elohim when deceiving Adam and Eve. Likewise, the Israelites spoke malicious slander against YHVH when they criticized the manna he had sent them.
Both incidents involved food, which is a great area of human weakness and one to which humans are subject to temptation (The ArtScroll Baal haTurim Chumash/Bamidbar, p. 1608). Can you see the parallels here? Who created Adam and Eve and gave them instructions concerning the tree of knowledge? Likewise, who gave them the manna in the wilderness and later identified himself as the spiritual manna in the Gospel of John (see John 6:51)? Satan spoke evil against YHVH-Yeshua (in his pre-incarnate state), and later incited Israel to speak against the manna (a type of Yeshua, the Bread of Life). Satan also tempted Yeshua over the issue of food and manna in Matthew 4. What are the implications here? Consider the relationship between physical and spiritual food, physical and spiritual food that is forbidden of YHVH versus that which is permitted, and how Satan uses the issue of food to try to turn us away from the path of righteousness and obedience to YHVH.
Samson Hirsch in his commentary on the fiery serpents notes that the serpents had been there all along dogging the Israelites, but had been held back by the gracious hand of YHVH such that the Israelites were unaware of the serpents’ presence (The Pentateuch/Numbers, p. 381). The sin of doubt, unbelief and malicious slander against YHVH and his anointed servant, Moses, caused YHVH to remove his protective hand of grace—as a judgment to bring Israel unto repentance—allowing the serpents, who had been there all along, access to the malcontents. The same situation occurred when Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Set-Apart Spirit and they were struck dead (Acts 5).
What are the implications here?
When we have so grieved the Spirit of YHVH and resisted the Ruach’s entreaties to walk in right relationship with and obedience to Elohim, so that he can bless us, does he not sometimes withhold his hand of grace and allow the evil one to attack us to bring us to repentance? Are you repeatedly dogged by (demonic?) attacks in a certain area of your life? Is YHVH calling you to repent? On the other hand, how many would-be attackers are lurking in the shadows of your life waiting for you to sin, or waiting for you to step out from under the blood of Yeshua and to put down the shield of faith by which the fiery darts of the Evil One against you are quenched (Eph 6:16)? How often do you think that the gracious and merciful hand of YHVH protects you from the attacks of the fiery serpents in your life? Probably more than you realize. Give him praise and rejoice.