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 (it was called Nehushtan).
2 Kings 18:4
What gifts of life have you turned into idols of death? That’s what the Israelites had done with the bronze serpent. Do you remember the story of the serpent? In Numbers 21:4-9 the people of Israel are once more complaining about their circumstances. God sends deadly serpents against the people but has Moses erect a bronze serpent. Any Israelites who were bitten could look on the bronze serpent and be saved.
Evidently, the bronze serpent continues to exist throughout Israel’s history, on down to the days of king Hezekiah. By Hezekiah’s day, the bronze serpent has itself become an object of worship. It becomes a totem, an idol, an object of worship, so Hezekiah destroys it to end that particular brand of idolatry.
We are not immune to the sin of the Israelites. God blesses us in many ways and with many things and we turn those things into objects of our chief devotion. They become idols. It may be money, it may be a husband or wife, it may be a new television, it may even be a church, ministry, or church program. We are particularly bad about making idols from that last category. We worship our church building or our musical style, whether traditional or modern; we worship our preacher or other ministry staff; we worship our particular way of doing Sunday school. Somewhere along the way, we take gifts God has given us for good and we worship the gift.
The remedy may or may not be as drastic as Hezekiah’s approach. There may well be things in our lives that need to be destroyed. God would have our undivided devotion. If some vice or possession demands attention from him, it needs to be cast out. But if the idol is a spouse or a church, we need to work within those relationships to reorganize our priorities.
In all things, put God first. Worship and adore him. Celebrate him. Follow and obey him. Let the world see by your obedience that the One you serve is more precious than anything else life has to offer.