They were tired, sweaty, hungry, thirsty yet they “loath[ed] this miserable food”. So they grumbled and “spoke against God and Moses”. They scolded Moses for bringing them out of Egypt “to die in the wilderness”. God’s anger was kindled against them; He sent fiery snakes among them and they bit and killed many. Then they had an epiphany, “we have sinned, because we spoke against the Lord and you…”. Moses interceded for them and God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and place it on a pole so that anyone who was bitten by the snakes would live when they looked up at the bronze snake. I am talking about the Israelites. Numbers 21.
Fast forward eight hundred years later, the bronze serpent made an appearance again, this time during the reign of King Hezekiah. It was a symbolic piece of metal, a relic and it is not surprising that it was preserved for hundreds of years. Christ compared Himself, His death on the cross and His work of salvation to the lifting up of the bronze serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14).
When twenty five year old King Hezekiah came to the throne, Israel was deep in idol worship. In bringing Israel back to God he removed and smashed all the sacred places and altars of idol worship. Then “…He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan. ) 2 Kings 18:4.
Yep! The bronze serpent had become an idol they worshiped. It started out as a symbol of salvation and deliverance and ended up as an idol. Sometimes good things or harmless things become idols in our lives. An idol is anything or anyone we place before God, value more than God; anything or anyone that occupies our hearts and minds all the time; anything or any person that interferes severely with our relationship with or worship of God!!
It could be a man or a woman, your spouse, your children, your career, possessions, your pastor, your leader, your education, a television show even!, a habit or a custom!
Let us be careful not to make idols either intentionally or unintentionally. God is clear on that one: “you shall have no other gods before me”. May He give us the grace to identify the idols in our lives and even greater grace to smash them!!
Love, Lady Monica❤