Removing Idols

“He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.” -  2 Kings 18:4 

When Hezekiah became king, he broke the bronze serpent into pieces and said, “this is a thing of brass.”  For 700 years before King Hezekiah, the people burned incense to the bronze serpent; they named it Nehusthan, and prayed to it as if it were God Himself.  

What happened 700 years earlier? The Children of Israel were in the wilderness and they complained against God and His Lordship over them. To correct the problem, God sent fiery serpents and the people were dying from their bites.

Now that God had their attention again he commanded Moses to make a serpent from brass and set it on a pole, and if anyone was bitten, just looking up at the serpent on the pole would save them.  This was a miracle from God. He healed them, saved them, so the people did a very, very human thing. They made a religious relic out of it and began to worship the brass snake.

We have to be careful as Christians not to worship anything or anyone except the Lord.  Have you thought about what it means when people start worshipping idols? It means they have lost the consciousness of God’s presence. In reality, God is always there, all around us. 

David asked the question “Where can I go from your presence?”  We’re not always aware that God is present. Somehow within us, we try and recapture that which is lost. That day we felt God’s presence and power. That time when He filled our hearts with joy.

Maybe there’s a certain spot we want to go back to in order to feel God’s presence again. For me, the place is Big Beach on Maui, because God is really present in the waves that break on the beach! So, when I go back there, because I am human, I might want to find God there again. But the reality is, I don’t have to go anywhere or stand by a certain tree or be in a particular church building to experience His presence. I am born again, and His presence now resides within me.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19; “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Why hold on to relics made with hands when you can have the real deal? Experiencing miracles like the brass serpent and enjoying His presence should be a common thing for us, those who have His presence within. “Nehushtan” – the brass thing isn’t God, it’s not holy or sacred, neither is a tree, a church building or waves at Big Beach, but they come pretty close. J

Jesus said in John 3:13-17 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Hold fast to the Lord. Let your roots go down deep into His word, and when you do, you will find your life bringing forth all kinds of fruit.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Bob

© 2014