On the Plains of Moab Blog
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September 13, 2012, 9:59 AM

The Sequel to the Bronze Serpent


"[King Hezekiah] 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...." (2 Kings 18:4 ESV).  There is your sequel to the bronze serpent!  Hundreds of years after the crisis in the wilderness, the people have grown quite fond of the serpent, and are now worshiping the statue itself.  The bronze serpent had become just like the golden calf - a violation of the 2nd Commandment.  It is quite incredible that something that God provided to encourage a deeper level of trust in his provision had been converted into an object of worship in and of itself.

I am reminded here of an off the cuff remark made by one of my professors in seminary.  He said something like this:  "I hope that they never find the original manuscripts of either the Old Testament or the New Testament, becuase if they did, they would become idols."  I admit, I never quite thought of it in that manner.  But the more I thought about it, I realize that he was right.  People would be transfixed by the material documents.  Who knows, perhaps some enterprising individual would build a shrine to the manuscripts and charge admission for a glance at the holy writings?  Perhaps you would then have Christians coming from all over the world to see this great sight?  Before long, you'd have another gloden calf and bronze serpent!  God gave us his Word to point us to Himself.  Perhaps it is in God's wisdom that we do not have the orginal manuscripts of the Bible; and more to the point, we really do not have any idea what Jesus looked like!  Think about that!


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