Don’t Worship the Bronze Serpent
by Joseph Franks
According to the instruction of God, Moses constructed a bronze serpent, and God did something very special with this implement of worship. The curse of God was removed from the individual who looked in faith to the sacred pole. Thousands were saved through the proper usage of this pole. It is understandable how this bronze serpent held a special place in the hearts of the Israelites.
Over time, the Israelites had taken the bronze serpent, constructed by Moses and used by the Lord, and turned it into a sacrilegious idol. They had even given it a special name — Nehushtan. Hezekiah corrected this error:
He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). (2 Kings 18:4)
Such is tendency of worshipers today. We tend to take very good things, used by the Lord, and turn them into sacrilegious idols.
People can worship the Bible and anger the Lord. Such people read more than they pray. Such people consider intellectual advancement to be the equivalent of spiritual sanctification.
People can worship the church building and anger the Lord. Such people prefer to focus on the church building than the church body. Such people harm relationships and the unity of the congregation as they pursue their materialistic preferences.
People can worship the sacraments and anger the Lord. Such people apply undue mysticism to their usage of the sacraments. Such people forget that it is the Holy Spirit, and not the Bronze Serpent, the Invitation, the Lord’s Supper, or Baptism that accomplishes supernatural wonders.
People can worship tradition and anger the Lord. Such people were very prevalent in the day of Jesus, and he opposed them to their face. Such people prefer to focus on what God has used in the past, and how God has done it, instead of focusing on what God is doing in the modern era.
People can worship ministers more than God. Such people confuse their pastors with their Great High Priest who intercedes above. Such people can’t imagine God working through a different man. Such people consider a change in pastor to be that which will fix what ails them.
People can trust skill more than God. Such people major on intellect, education, eloquence, presentation, perfect pitch, sermon format, appearance, and extroverted magnetism. They forget how God has used children, donkeys, and stuttering prophets to accomplish incredible things for Himself and his people.