Years later, during the reign of Hezekiah, the same bronze serpent was destroyed. The righteous Hezekiah broke it in pieces, because the Israelites had been burning incense to the serpent. They called it "Nehushtan" - meaning - "The Bronze Thing."
This was not the first time the Israelites had given a fashioned object in the shape of animal a name. It was not the first time they had worshipped such a piece. At the foot of Mt. Sinai Aaron formed a golden calf. In this particular instance, the people named the calf "Jehovah." After all, they cried out, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt" (Ex. 32:8).
The spiritual void in Israel was their allegiance to what instead of who. This age old problem continues. It is not the house that shelters. It is not the garments that clothe. It is not the army that protects. It is not the water that saves. It is the God of heaven who does all of these things. He is the one who needs to be lifted up as King...Oh, wait a minute, He has been lifted up.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of man must be lifted up." ~ John 3:14
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." ~ John 12:32