He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. – II Kings 18:4
In OT times (after Israel had divided into two different nations) one of the few great kings of the old southern kingdom of Judah was Hezekiah. He sought to purge his people of idolatry and one of the things he did in order to accomplish that goal was to smash the bronze snake that Moses had made. In the time of Moses, when the Israelites were journeying through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, they were bitten by venous snakes. God told Moses to build a bronze statue of a serpent for the people’s healing but eventually what was a good thing ended up becoming bad. The Israelites began to worship the bronze snake as a god, instead of worshipping the God who commanded Moses to make the statue as an instrument and sign of the healing that God would give to them.
What we learn from this text is that human beings can take something that was good and blessed by God and turn it into an idol. Though we may not build a bronze snake today, we do build sanctuaries, buy curriculums, and use things to enhance our worship experience in the church. We also create rhythms, patterns, and ways of doing certain things in the life of the church and it is very easy for us to become more attached to these things than it is to the God these things are supposed to draw us toward. When this happens sometimes hard choices have to be made, such as the one Hezekiah made. Be encouraged to make these hard choices if need be, so that you may faithfully and honorably worship the Lord your God only.