Nehushtan

I was reading 2 Kings 18 where it talks about king Hezekiah tearing down all the idols in the land of Judah during his reign. I was kind of surprised to read that one of the idols that was being worshipped was either the actual or a representation of the bronze serpent Moses raised up to heal the people in Numbers 2. It is referred to as the Nehushtan. At first reading it just shocked me that God’s chosen people found it easier to worship this man-crafted snake that God used to heal them opposed to worshipping the eternal God who was leading them as a nation. Then I felt convicted.

Idol

Idolatry is serious business. The first commandment given to Moses was that God’s people should only worship God and nothing else. Any other worship is idolatry. Just read a couple chapters of 2 Kings and you will quickly get a feel for God’s disapproval of spreading worship around.

I always used to think as long as I didn’t have a statue in my house that I prayed to, I was not worshipping idols. Recently though, I have been more convinced that idols can be almost anything. (food, entertainment, work, sports, etc.) I listened to a sermon where the pastor said that if you look at where you spend your time and what you spend your money on you can get a good idea of what you worship.

So what’s the take-away? For me I am challenged to examine all aspects of my life and see if I am first and foremost worshipping God in them. Do I worship God with my time? Do I worship God with my money? Do I worship God with my thoughts, words, and deeds?

It’s challenging. I know there are areas and things I put before God. Food and entertainement would just be just a couple of them.

How about you guys? Do you worship anything other than God??

Grace and Peace,

Tony

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4 thoughts on “Nehushtan

  1. Bro,

    Another great blog! And you’re right, when we really examine how we spend our time and money its obvious how many idols we worship. The problem is we are constantly struggling with the Flesh and the World and unfortunately they are winning the battle for our time which leaves little room for God. So the question is how do we put God first or a term I like to use (Balance) God with our daily lives. Although when we say balance we think of everything as being equal but in reality its not. Usually we spend an hour or two on Sunday and an hour on Wed worshiping God and then the Flesh and the World gets the rest of our time, money and energy.
    Of course our body needs Food, shelter and some kind of entertainment/brain stimulation. So with that said one thought would be to put ourselves on a spiritual budget or spiritual diet and cut out the things that don’t produce fruit. Cut out the things that waste our time and money. We should also try to find ways to combine our need for food and entertainment with our Worship. Our Church has a dinner every Wednesday night before the service and they also get together for game nights and other activities. Kind of like the small groups at Green Hills and the bowling/board games you guys play together. I believe when we fellowship with other Christians we are honoring God just like we do when we spend time with our spouses. Like Mark Driscoll says “it’s Biblical”
    Your right Bro it is a lot easier to worship man-crafted items than God, and it’s even harder today than it was two thousand years ago. We just have to get more creative and take advantage of our modern technology, because you know the enemy loves to use our high tech toys and gadgets to keep us from spending time with our Lord and Savior. Good job my Brother! Love ya

    Chris

  2. Great blog sweetheart and good response brother in law. I think like your brother said it is time to do a spirtual budget and diet. That is an awesome way to put it Chris. Lets all agree to do that. Diet meaning like to cut the cable bill, etc? I love you guys and thanks for blogging.
    Jenny

  3. I must confess I am guilty at times but it’s a fine line. We must remember to worship God for creating whatever it is we are tempted to worship. Let’s take food, which God gave us as both nourishment and pleasure.

    Ecclesiastes 2:24 “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.“

    So, food is given to us, by God, to enjoy but are we thinking only of the food as we eat?

    Luke 22:19 “He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.””

    So, unless we are remembering to give thanks and truly blessing God, which is to bring Him to mind and focus our attention on him, while we are enjoying the gifts, then those gifts have been perverted and have become idols. Also, when we become obsessed…

    1 Corinthians 6:12 “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.”

    Recently, I fell into a trap. I wanted to get a looper-pedal (an add-on for electric guitar that echoes the part you played allowing you to play along with it) and even though I didn’t need it (and couldn’t really afford it) I convinced myself I should buy it. Once I had it, that burning desire evaporated and I discovered that I really didn’t need it. Is the pedal an idol, it was until I got it. Once I had it I quickly realized that the idea of having it had become an idol for me.

    Ecclesiastes 6:9 “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

    However, if I had continued to be obsessed with it then it would have remained an idol. This is a question of what’s in the eye/heart of the beholder, are you worshipping God or the object he has given you? Can this same pedal be used to worship God, you bet, it can be used to make music which is a reflection of God’s glory. Music again is a gift from God for our pleasure, but can also be perverted and become the object of our worship (there’s a reason the show is called American Idol – where the performer receives the worship of the people).

    (All Bible quotations from, Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.)

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