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).
He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. 2 Kings 18:4-5
King Hezekiah was a great reformer in Judah. He did away with idolatry in order to lead his people’s hearts back to God. He even did away with subtle idols that can creep into our hearts; things that start off good but later become God. In the book of Numbers chapter 21:4-9, we see God’s people complaining against God and Moses. The Lord pulls back His protection from a complaining people and ‘fiery serpents’ attack the people! The people cry out to God and Moses for mercy and God tells Moses to make a brazen serpent and hang it on a stick. As the people look to it, they will be healed. Thousands of years later, Jesus would become sin on our behalf and he would be hung on a cross. If we look to Him, we too will be healed. The bronze serpent was simply a shadow of the true source of our healing, Jesus!
Hundreds of years later, it appears God’s people began worshipping the brazen serpent rather than the merciful God it was to foreshadow. Hezekiah breaks the bronze serpent on a stick and calls it ‘Nehushtan’ which means: ‘a bronze thing’ or ‘a piece of brass’. I think the warning for us today is beware of taking good things and elevating them to a place they aren’t meant to be.
I often tell stories of traditions that my family and I have shared since the girls were little. It’s no secret I love the Christmas season! I love everything about it. The Burt’s are all in on the decorations, the presents, the Carols; it is all so beautiful to me. But, I need to continually remind myself what’s behind it all…
When I see the beautiful Christmas lights, I remember that Jesus Himself is the ‘Light of the World’.
When I see the presents under the tree, I’m reminded that God so loved the world He gave us the gift of His Son Jesus.
When I look at my tree, I’m reminded that Jesus was hung on a tree to rescue mankind, and as anticipation builds for Christmas morning to arrive, I’m reminded that the gift of God came to earth 2000 some years ago … and He will come again.
Merry Christmas Every Nation Church,