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“Here we come to the glorious era of reform in Judah under the reign of good king Hezekiah, who ‘did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.’ How was he different from those who preceded him? The reforms of Hezekiah were comprehensive. He destroyed the pagan idols. He removed the high places. He even broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people had turned it into an object of superstition.

The destruction of the brazen serpent shows just how far genuine reform truly is. The brazen serpent was originally made by God’s command. Yet it was never intended to be part of the ordinary worship of the Lord. The people, however-no doubt with good intentions- incorporated it into their worship and made it an object of superstition. Hezekiah saw this as a corruption of God’s worship, and destroyed the brazen serpent.

Were his actions extreme? Why not simply caution the people against the abuse of a traditional symbol? The answer is that Hezekiah realized that the serpent had become a snare, and he understood the subtle nature of idolatry. Better to dispense with a sacred relic, than leave it as a temptation for present and future generations. One wonders how Hezekiah would respond to the crosses found in most modern churches today!

Most importantly, Hezekiah understood that it was necessary to address the issues of spiritual decline among the people if there was to be any hope for the nation. He knew that worship is the foundational issue from which all else flows. If we begin in our worship of God with the presupposition that He is sovereign and is alone to be obeyed, then we will submit to His Word in all matters of faith and life. His commands will direct us in our public lives as well as in our worship. But if we approach the worship of God with the presupposition that we are sovereign and it is our prerogative to define how we will approach God in His own house, then that premise will corrupt our entire thinking and we will look to ourselves and our own wisdom rather than the proven Word of God in all our daily decisions. Oh for the spirit of Hezekiah today!” (Comin, 118-119)

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