Thursday, September 24, 2009

19: Bush

Exodus 4-6
Moses asks God what to do if the people don't believe he actually talked to God. He talked to a bush that was on fire but wasn't burning, what's unbelievable about that? Anyway, God tells him to throw his staff on the ground and turns it into a snake. Then Moses puts his hand in his cloak and it turns leprous and he puts his hand back in his cloak and he is healed. Finally God says he can throw water on the ground and it will turn into blood. These seem like pretty standard magic tricks to me.

Ok, this next section blows my mind. If you read nothing else in the Bible please read Exodus 4:21-26. I will try to figure out what this is trying to say to the best of my ability. I'm going to go verse by verse here.

(All in Exodus 4)

Verse 21: God tells Moses to go back and perform his miracles for Pharaoh. That is fine, however, he (God) says that he is going to "harden his [Pharaoh's] heart so that he will not let the people go". What? If God wants to free these people why is he going to harden Pharaoh's heart so he wont let the people go? I'm more and more dumbfounded on the free will concept. Is God going to punish Pharaoh for not letting the people go when it was God that prevented it? I think I'll be bringing up this passage a lot in my next posts.

Verse 22: God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh that "Israel is my first born son". I am majorly confused. If God is telling Moses what to say, then it should be from Moses' perspective, but Moses (as far as I know) doesn't have a first born son named Israel. And we know God doesn't have any sons yet, so it must mean Pharaoh has a son named Israel?

Verse 23: God is still telling Moses what to say to Pharaoh. The only thing I can decipher here is that God told Pharaoh to let his son worship him, and Pharaoh said no, which doesn't make any sense at all. So Pharaoh refused, and now God is going to kill his son. Excuse me? Why is Pharaoh's not releasing his son to worship his son's fault? It's very important in verse 22 and 23 to understand what perspective the speaking voice is coming from. But if I replace the speaker with God, Moses, or Pharaoh it still doesn't make sense.

Verse 24: Ok, I've read this about 12 times, so I don't think I'm reading it wrong. It says that at a lodging place on the way to Egypt, God meets Moses, and is about to kill him. Yes, that's what it says, I just read it another 12 times. So God is going to kill Moses, the person he just told to go save people.

Verse 25: This is where it starts going down hill, I thought we'd already hit rock bottom. Zipporah (Moses' wife) sees that God is about to kill Moses, so she grabs a knife, cuts off her son's foreskin, and touches Moses' feet with it. Say what now? Then she, apparently as an explanation, says "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me". Ok, whatever you say crazy lady, just don't cut my penis.

Verse 26: God, apparently satisfied that Moses has foreskin all over his feet, leaves him alone.

My mind is officially blown and I still have two chapters to get through. Exodus 4 ends with Moses performing his magic tricks to all of the Israelite elders.

Moses and Aaron (his brother) go to Pharaoh and tell them to "let my people go" so they can have a festival in the desert. Pharaoh says no and they say that God might strike him with plagues or "with the sword". Pharaoh gets pissed and makes the Israelites make bricks with no straw (I didn't know straw was an integral ingredient in bricks, but whatever). Keep in mind that Pharaoh is only being a jerk because God has "hardened his heart".

God says that he is going to force Pharaoh to do what he says with his "mighty hand". Why don't you just unharden Pharaoh's heart and he will let them go on his own free will. God rambles for awhile about how he made covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and he's going to fulfill them, ok whatever. Moses reports God's ramblings and the Israelites don't believe him. God also tells Moses to tell Pharaoh what he says but he doesn't do it (not yet anyway).
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