A Serpent on a Pedestal
By: Dick Karman
Oct-99

Too often I have heard home school leaders proclaim that Home Education (with a capitol H) will be the turning point for our society. That home educating families are the remnant that God has preserved for salvation of a society lacking in righteousness.

I was reminded recently in church of the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the land of Edom. The people spoke against God and the Lord sent fiery serpents to plague the Israelites. The people recognized their error and asked for forgiveness. God, in his wisdom, did not take away the snakes, but gave the people a means of deliverance. The Lord told Moses, "Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live." The snakes did not go away, but there was deliverance from the death that comes from sin.

So perhaps home schooling is that serpent upon the rod. Those parents who recognize the folly of public school and look to home school may be saved a great deal of grief. They can turn away from the pitfalls that often lay in wait for them like fiery serpents. I can agree with that.

But the people of Moses' time went over board. They started to worship the serpent on the rod, instead of the righteous God that delivered them. As is often recorded in the Old Testament, sinful man will fail to worship God the creator, and instead will worship the created object. Over 600 years later they were still worshipping the serpent on the rod of Moses. It was recorded that "unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to [the brazen image of a serpent on a rod] and did call it Nehushtan." (2Kings 18:4). Hezekiah knew this was wrong and broke it into pieces so that the people would no longer worship it.

Have we started to worship home schooling instead of the God who has delivered us? Have we placed this small tool of God's workbench on a pedestal and are we offering the modern day equivalent of incense to it? Be assured that God uses Christian home schooling as a light to the community, as a witness to law makers, as a force to restore righteousness in the society, but do not mistake the created object for the creator.

We've already created a monster of sorts. For too long the legislature has viewed home schooling as the successful means of producing productive, educated young people. We've muddied the water by not setting the record straight and giving God the credit. It is faith in the Lord, and resting on him for support that has raised godly children who have respect for authority, and for education. It is faith that produces the good works, not home education. We are just a branch. Christ is the vine. Without him we wither and die.

We need to learn through the stories recorded in the book of Numbers. They are part of God's word that some say has no relevance today. I believe God when he says the "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." Believe what God has said. We don't want to be the ones worshipping the brass serpent when we should be worshipping the creator. 600 years, sixty years, or even six years is too long.


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