The Brass Serpent
By Joe Keim
September 1, 2023
Depending on which commentator you follow, there may have been as many as three million Jews who left Egypt. Finally, the Israelites were free from slavery. Soon they would move into a land that was not originally their own—a land flowing with milk and honey.
But then something started happening that was not good. The children of Israel began to murmur and complain. In Numbers 21:5, the Bible says that the people spoke against God and Moses.
They said things like:
“Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?”
“We are sick of this manna!”
Numbers 21:6 says the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people. The poisonous serpents must have appeared everywhere, even inside people’s tents. Many people got bitten. They got sick, and they died. Imagine getting bitten while you slept or while burying loved ones. It must have been awful!
The Bible says, “Therefore, the people came to Moses, and said, we have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he takes away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people” (Numbers 21:7).
In verses 8-9, the Lord told Moses to make a serpent out of brass and hang it on a pole. Everyone who was bitten, when he beheld the serpent of brass, lived – was healed. What a miracle! What a lesson! Life after the poisonous serpents went on. I’m sure the story was told and retold for generations.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the brass serpent on the pole?
The children of Israel hung on to it! For 750 years, they dragged that brass serpent along. We are told in 2 Kings 18:1-4 that Hezekiah, age 25, began to reign as King of Judah. He did that which was right in God’s eyes. He removed the high places, broke all the images, cut down the groves, and get this… the king “brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it...” (2 Kings 18:4).
For 750 years, the children of Israel hung onto a piece of brass that had been used to deliver their forefathers from death. They added the worthless piece of brass to their hour of worship. It had become a distraction, an idol, and bondage.
Dear Saint, many of us do the same things in our generation. We must let go of those supernatural movements of God that happened in the past. We must stop duplicating and manufacturing supernatural events that happened at a particular location or specific place far away. They are distracting us from the real thing. They are bondage and idol worship. Let us be like Hezekiah and keep our eyes on the One and Only Living God of the universe. He does not own assembly lines and cookie cutters. He works in no one’s box.
If you were moved by this article or would like to discuss it further, the author invites you to call or text him. He would be delighted to hear from you!
Joe Keim (419) 651-6813
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