Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Offerings to Nehushtan

God commanded the making of the bronze serpent which Hezekiah later, quite rightly, destroyed. At the time of its making, Nehushtan effectively brought God's people back to him, yet later generations came to revere the monument instead of honoring God:

And [Hezekiah] 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 . . . from 2 Kings 18:4-5
Do we make mountains of a molehills when when we cling to tradition? Do we create monuments which have nothing to do with serving the living God? What are we really after when we go to church?

We hear Jesus say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” (John 6:26) Jesus proclaimed himself the bread of life and yet:

. . . the Jews grumbled about Jesus, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” - from John 6:41-42

Let's avoid placing more importance in the trappings of "proper" worship then on the One we worship. Let's not run the risk of grumbling that "it's only Jesus," when . . . well, it REALLY IS only Jesus! He is it: the only glue that can bind us together, the only source of true change, the only One who can heal our brokenness, the only giver of the bread of life.

I pray the Lord will give you power today to look past the Nehushtan to see and honor Him. I pray you and I will look beyond our needs, and honor the Jesus -- whether our tummies are filled or not. Let us break in pieces anything of beauty and honor that sets itself up between us and true reverence to Jesus Christ.

No comments: