The Bronze Serpent of Christendom!

Bronze Serpent

Bronze SerpentI hope we can all agree that only very primitive and unspiritual people could worship a Bronze Serpent as their Deity! Undoubtedly, we would consider them to be completely cut off from the Living God of the Bible and totally void of the knowledge of the Holy One of Israel, whose passionate insistence on strict monotheism for His Chosen Ones is well known.

The image of a Bronze Serpent first appears on the pages of the Bible within a bizarre narrative about Israel’s ungratefulness to the Great Provider during their sojourn in the wilderness. Just as the infamous Serpent in the Garden of Eden, who presumed to slander God to Adam and Eve, the children of Israel dared to slander the Holy One by despising His manna:

“So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you . . . Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” (Num. 21:6-9)

We all understand fully well that the saving power that healed people in this unfortunate episode belonged to and proceeded exclusively from God and had nothing to do with the Serpent itself! I hope that we can also agree that neither Moses nor the Serpent that he fashioned were to be worshiped or revered as gods!

Astonishingly enough, however, the mixed multitude of Gentiles, who “joined” Israel in her Exodus from Egypt, proceeded to worship the Bronze Serpent instead of the Living God! In fact, the Serpent became a “god” to the unfaithful within Israel for more than 700 years, until King Hezekiah destroyed it as part of his campaign to rid Judah of all idolatry:

“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. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.! (II Kings 18:4-5).

If we fast forward to our own day and age, 2600 years after King Josiah destroyed the idol of the Bronze Serpent in Israel, we will find a large group of people engaged in the same practice today! They worship the Serpent on a tree instead of the Living God of Israel! In his nightly conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus states the following:

“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.” (John 3:14-15) - As you can see for yourself, as the Messiah of Israel, Jesus is but a tool to accomplish the will of the Creator.

Bronze Serpent & JesusThe way that Israel in the wilderness was supposed to believe in their God and trust Moses as His faithful servant is the same way the disciples of Jesus were required to develop their faith in the Holy One of Israel, believing that He and He alone provides the means for our salvation!

The Church, however, fashioned its own Bronze Serpent, transforming the person of the Jewish Messiah into the Second Person of the Divine Trio! For almost two thousand years now, the faithful within Christendom have been worshiping the Bronze Serpent instead of the Living Creator! In fact, anyone who worships the Messiah instead of the God of the Messiah is engaged in an idolatrous practice! Where do you belong today?!