Hezekiah ‘… removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan). 2 Kings 18:4 (NIV)
In 2 Kings 18:3 it is recorded that Hezekiah ‘... did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.’
In verse 4 quoted above it is said that he removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles (much more extensive than any of his predecessors). But he didn’t stop there. We are told that he also ‘… broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made …’ This was a relic that had a direct link to Moses, so why destroy it? We read in Numbers 21:9 ‘So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.’
The bronze snake in itself was good. Moses had made it for a good purpose. The purpose being to provide a means of curing snake bites miraculously. More importantly the bronze snake was made as a result of a direct instruction from God. Surely it couldn’t now be seen as evil? 2 Kings 18:4 tells us that the Israelites had been burning incense to it. In other words they no longer saw it for what it was (something that pointed them to God), but as something to be worshipped and revered in its own right (a replacement for God).
I’m sure some of the people of Hezekiah’s time thought he had gone too far in breaking into pieces such an important relic. However, Hezekiah knew what the bronze snake had become and he was prepared to get rid of it by radical means.
When we become Christians there are obvious things that we need to turn our back on, sinful ways that need to be repented of. There may also be things that appear good on the surface, but which we (and God) know are keeping us from making a full commitment. These may need more radical treatment. Ask God to show you anything in your life that is holding you back, and have the courage to change it.