The brazen serpent and the second commandment.

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Wild Olive, Mar 21, 2004.

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  1. Wild Olive

    Wild Olive Inactive User

    My intention is not to start yet another "Passion" thread, however after trying unsucessfully to understand this issue unassisted I am desperate for help.
    My problem is this. I understand that Israel eventually worshipped the image (2 Kings 18:4) what I am trying to grasp is their relationship to the image before those days. Were they not having high thoughts of God by looking on it? Someone please help me understand.
     
  2. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    First, the bronze serpent was not an image made for worship, hence the reason for it's destruction by Hezekiah.

    Second, God commanded the image to be made, so this wasn't something created by man's imagination as a supplement to worship.

    It was created for a temporal purpose, to serve as an instrument in healing snakebites. It also served to illustrate typologically the nature of saving faith. By looking to the bronze serpent, the people were trusting God's ordained remedy for their disease, just as looking to Christ alone is God's ordained remedy for our sin. (John 3:14-15)

    [Edited on 3-22-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  3. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    The bronze serpent was an ordained means of grace for the church in the wilderness (as similarly, the preaching of the gospel is an ordained means today). After that time, it was no longer an ordained means.

    Those things which God has commanded and has also appointed as means of grace do not violate his commandments, as we are required to honor Him by the means which He has appointed.

    Should a church today create a bronze sepent it would violate the commandments, as God has not appointed such as a means through which we are to honor Him.

    [Edited on 3-22-2004 by Dan....]
     
  4. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    The serpent was not an image of God. It was an image of a serpent, the very thing that was tormenting the people.

    Once they began to worship the image they made it a false god and it was destroyed.

    Phillip
     
  5. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:4b28b220ac]
    The serpent was not an image of God. It was an image of a serpent, the very thing that was tormenting the people.

    [/quote:4b28b220ac]

    Christ became man.
    Man made in God's image.
    The very thing tormenting the people.

    Christ saves us from man(sin), Christ saves us from God.

    The serpent was not an image of God as mere physical representation of a Diety, but an image as metaphor.

    Images as metaphor are acceptable, and do not break the 2nd commandment. Like Crosses, Lambs, Lions, Burning Bushes, Bronze srpents on poles, gold pots of manna, budding branches, vines, vineyards, doors, shepherds, bread and wine. . . . . . .
     
  6. Wild Olive

    Wild Olive Inactive User

    [quote:534d386664]
    Second, God commanded the image to be made, so this wasn't something created by man's imagination as a supplement to worship.
    [/quote:534d386664]

    Great point! I had considered that, but was not sure I was on the right track. Thanks for the confirmation.


    [quote:534d386664]
    Those things which God has commanded and has also appointed as means of grace do not violate his commandments, as we are required to honor Him by the means which He has appointed.
    [/quote:534d386664]

    In a recent discussion with a friend the brazen serpent passage was cited as a defence for Gibson's false gospel. I suppose the posistion is that the movie could be a means of grace. How can I best respond to this posistion? I hope I'm not digging up the carcass of a deceased equine.

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Wild Olive]
     
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