Human beings instinctively are worshiping creatures. Generally speaking, if a person does not worship God, he will worship something else. It could be the sun, a tree, money, or self. Human degeneracy knows no limit.
The apostle Paul addressed the issue in the opening segment of his epistle to the saints in Rome. He pointed out that the Creator made his existence known in the wonderful, obviously designed elements of the universe, and that those who reject that evidence are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).
The apostle further observed that many have refused to glorify God and become vain in their reasoning. Their “senseless” hearts have been darkened.
He then asserts that many even exchange the worship of the Creator for that of various creatures, such as men, birds, beasts, and even creeping things (Rom. 1:21-25). This section of Romans constitutes a dramatic commentary on the wrath of God with reference to such practices.
Nag-Panchami: A Snake Worship Festival
The Hindu religion is known for its worship of animals (e.g., cattle, and even snakes). For example, Nag-Panchami is a Hindu festival associated with snake worship. Snake gods are offered gifts of milk and incense to help the worshiper to gain knowledge, wealth, and fame.
A United Press International news story once reported an event that is as bizarre as anything I have heard.
According to the article, a Hindu woman fell in love with a cobra. The cobra has its den in an anthill in India’s Orissa state, near where the woman lives. She had visited the site frequently and provided milk for the reptile, placing her gifts near the anthill.
Eventually, the snake would slither out and drink and a romance was born.
An elaborate wedding ceremony was arranged and some 2,000 celebrants attended. We are informed neither when nor how the groom proposed, though we are told the snake did return her affection. The lady, Miss Bimbala Das, was adorned in a silk saree for the ceremony.
Miss Das is a member of the Vaishnav sect (animal-loving, vegetarians), and she had obtained permission to marry the cobra from the local elders of that Hindu group. Miss Das claimed the snake had healed her of a serious illness, and so she fell in love with the slithering creature.
Unfortunately, the groom did not show up for the wedding. But necessity became the mother of innovation and so, hastily, a brass snake replica was obtained as a substitute for Mr. Cobra, who doubtless had prenuptial jitters.
The ceremony was conducted, therefore, with the bridegroom in absentia.
According to the news report, Miss Das’ mother was quite happy about the entire affair since she had been “looking for a cheap deal for her aging daughter.”
Subsequent to the ceremony, Miss Das (rather, Mrs. Cobra) constructed a hut near the anthill to await her husband, should he venture forth. The report that someone sent the couple a set of monogrammed towels respectively inscribed Hers and Hiss has not been confirmed.
It is very difficult not to see some humor in this, as indeed Isaiah did when he spoke of the man who cut down a tree, burned part of it in a fire, and with the residue made a god to worship (Isa. 44:12-17). In reality, it reflects a most tragic circumstance.
It illustrates, in a painful way, how very far away from God a culture can depart when knowledge of Creator is abandoned and the human urge to worship is satisfied on the basest level imaginable
Paul uses strong language to depict such matters — vain (without result), senseless (void of understanding), and dark (bereft of spiritual light).