Through last night and this afternoon I read the second book. It was a challenge to get through it without Bob Marley’s famous track running through my head but I did it!
We all know Exodus documents Moses leading the Israelites to the promised land; most of us are aware this is where the ten commandments reside; some may even have got as far as reading the intricacies of the tabernacle.
A friend warned me last night that I may find Exodus repetitive. I found this to be true but suspect the bibles reinforcement of any information is intended for us to remember and keep relevant throughout the ages. Understandably the ten commandments were a reoccurring topic. Although I have always known them, reading them again with new desires made my reactions more emotive and brought on a tonne of questions I guess I’ve always had but never knew.
Throughout the book particularly in the middle, God breaks down the commandments, gives instruction re the treatment of ones property and the property of others. The tone in the detail of his instructions remind me of how an adult would speak to a very, very slow child. I laughed at some points as it reminded me of how simple minded human nature can be and yet we still break the commandments! I heard someone once say that God created those commandments specifically to show we cannot keep them and how much we need him. If this is true, then why?
This smoothly leads me to a commandment I’ve pondered, pulled, prodded and tested of very recent times: The Sabbath.
Again, this commandment is dotted throughout Exodus and means more to some than others. That being said, shouldn’t all commandments hold equal value?
Some believe Sabbath is a Saturday, others a Sunday; many believe the day is irrelevant and it’s what’s done with the Sabbath that matters. I find these conflicting ideas to be a very western thing and I can’t help but wonder why. This point could be another blog in itself (and no doubt will be).
I’ve personally come to the conclusion that the initial sabbath is what we know as Saturday but the history books showcase why and how the day was changed (check it out yourself this blog has enough words, lol) and day you choose is not what determines your Christianity, but it’s the reasons behind your choosing and what you do with the day that counts.
When I was asked why I was sent to church on Sunday, I couldn’t think of an answer; it’s just the way it was. When I’ve asked others why they go on Sunday, usually (and quite defensively) the responses are; ‘we’re not bound by the law!’ ‘we’re not saved by works but by grace!’ ‘Sunday is tradition!’ ‘Saturday is not convenient for me!’ ‘People go on Saturday? Who’da thunk it!’ I’m still researching this one and I hold no grudges against people’s personal convictions, but this element of Exodus and the worlds response to it will astound me always.
I’m not so sure why the instructions for the tabernacle were repeated. The vividness, the majesty and bold beauty of the place was breathtaking to read, but why was it reinforced and how (if we are supposed to) do we apply it to our zeitgeist?
Before I plunge into more questions, I’d like to take this time to share my revelations re slavery. It goes without saying I am OPPOSED to the concept and clearly through Exodus we learn that so is God…or is he? When I hear the term my skin crawls; I can’t help but think of the half assed lesson I was given re black history at school, the reminders of what went on throughout Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean dotted throughout Black History Month, Roots and Amistad as well as modern day slavery and trafficking.
Initially I was shocked to discover God had ‘rules’ re how to treat slaves. But the more I read the more I learned that the term ‘slave’ was intended as what we now refer to as ’employee’. The mistreatment of slaves and captivity is what God forbade. I find it astounding that to this day people try to justify slavery and in God’s name! However, through reading Exodus dare I say it, I’ve seen God’s justice exemplified when he explains how oppressors are convicted. (Dotted throughout Exodus and namely Exodus 21 & 22).
In Exodus 32 vs 14, God repents: I read this verse over at least three times. My eyes almost jumped out their sockets! Did God set the situation up knowing he’d need to repent to prove a point or was he genuinely wrong about something? I find it hard to believe it was the latter, but where can I get clarification?
In Exodus 32 vs 24, the golden calf seemed to have appeared out of the fire almost spontaneously. Did the people intend for the idol to be a calf? What is the significance of the idol being a calf?
Exodus 33 vs 20-23 spoke to me this morning after being angered by an ad on the ‘God Channel’ (which ‘God’ I don’t know but hey ho). Why do people go on TV selling books and sharing testimonies on how they died saw Grandma, God and Uncle Gym. Have they not read this scripture? Or have they?
I’m off to learn Leviticus!
Until some time soon…