Sunday, February 8, 2009

God is Mad!!

Up at the top of the mountain, God and Moses are in heated discourse. "I'm going to kill them all and start over with you", God says." "Think about it" says Moses. "All the nations will say the you brought your people out here to the desert to kill them."

God recants.

Moses (who had NO idea what the people were doing) grabs the two original stone tablets and comes down the mountain. (I wonder what THOSE would fetch today on Ebay?)

Joshua hears first. "Is it war", he asks? Moses says, "Nope. It is not the song of victory. Not the song of defeat. It is a huge party." So you see, they DID have Rock and Roll in the Old Testament.

When Moses sees, for the first time, what is going on - is he ever mad! Now he understands why God was so mad. He smashes the stone tablets, grinds up the gold idol, puts it in water, and makes them all drink it.

He's not done.

Then he bawls his brother out, and draws a line in the sand. People. Time to choose. Who is on God's side? Come over here. Most people did. A few did not. He asked the Levites to put on swords. And they killed the 3000 people who didn't join the God side of the line.

Then he tells them he is going back up the mountain to ask what God wants to do about their sin.

"Moses went back to God and said, "This is terrible. This people has sinned—it's an enormous sin! They made gods of gold for themselves. And now, if you will only forgive their sin. ...But if not, erase me out of the book you've written."

God said to Moses, "I'll only erase from my book those who sin against me. For right now, you go and lead the people to where I told you. Look, my Angel is going ahead of you. On the day, though, when I settle accounts, their sins will certainly be part of the settlement."

God sent a plague on the people because of the calf they and Aaron had made" (Exodus 32:31-35)

It seems pretty easy for me to put other gods into Gods' place. My motorcyle gives me pleasure. It is easy to put it in Gods' place. My house is beautiful. It is easy to put it in Gods' place. Food is wonderful. It is easy to put it in Gods' place.

No wonder the first commandment (which God has to write over, now that Moses smashed the tablets) is:

"No other gods, only me.
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don't bow down to them and don't serve them because I am God, your God, and I'm a most jealous God" (Exodus 20:3-5)

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