My Mum's Ancient Family Bible

My Mum's Ancient Family Bible
Kept in the garage of all places for so many years, it's finally been put to good use.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

They're All Going to Laugh at You (Exodus 24-28)

Wow. This was hard to get through.

So Moses has delivered to his people a slew of rules, some sensible, some just plain weird. Their response is to answer Moses in one voice, "All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do" (Exo 24:3). I wonder if they were playing that improv game "One Voice" and if they sounded accordingly drawn-out and slightly deaf. Fun to imagine.

In celebration, Moses decides to make a sacrifice to God. He takes the blood from the animal and throws half of it over the altar and the other half of it all over his people. Opah! This is right out of Carrie. His people must have been horrified. Why didn't everyone freak out? That's not normal. Not even for the Bible. One guy in the back probably muttered, "Just go with it," under his breath.

God calls Moses up to Mount Sinai again so he can give him the Ten Commandments in the form of stone tablets. Finally. He probably didn't want to commit them to stone until he was sure everyone was on board. It's hard to do rough drafts on stone. I hope Moses packed an overnight bag because God keeps him there on the mountain for forty days and forty nights (all-inclusive). In that amount of time he goes on and on about all this stuff he wants, like a fancy ark (see Raiders of the Lost Ark). There's an incredible amount of detail here and it's where my eyes began to glaze over. For example, he starts harping on some special lampstand he wants: "And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its capitals, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it; and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on the other branch- so for the six branches going out of the lampstand..." (Exo 25:31-33). And it keeps going on like that for pages!

It's almost like God has a major Bridezilla moment. At first the bride's like, "Oh, it doesn't matter how things look, as long as all the people I love are there on my special day," and then she morphs into, "I want this and I want this and I want this and if everything's not perfect and exactly the way I want it then I'm going to decapitate someone".  I can just picture Moses holding a clipboard like an emotionally-battered maid of honour going "Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Got it. Really? Okay. Yep. Got it".

It's so weird to me how ostentatious God wants everything to be. He even wants his priests to wear bedazzled breast plates. He calls them "breastpiece[s] of judgement". They're also supposed to wear long robes, turbans, and ephods (whatever those are). I would have gone to church more often as a teenager if the priests were made to look like Jake Gyllenhal in the Prince of Persia. 

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