A quick update about summer classes: I have taken 6 tests in the last 3.5 weeks. I’m entering the early phases of burn out, but thankfully there’s only a week and a half left. In more upbeat news, I’ve made As on 5 of those tests, and feel good about the other one (just took it yesterday, so I don’t know the results yet) . Yeah!
I summer school like a boss!
Now, down to business.
Chapter 11- More of the same. Moses reminds the people of God’s violence towards them while they wandered in the desert, but that they will prosper if they follow his commands and teach their children about God.
Verses 16-17, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.”
Do you fine folks remember the drought we had last summer? Clearly, God was punishing us for something. But what? As you can see, some of the most liberal places in our country fared pretty well. (I direct your attention, for example, towards Washington state, Oregon, California, and New York.) Known bastions of democrats and homosexuals!
Arkansas and the Atlanta metro area of Georgia, however, did something to anger the Almighty! Interesting how some of the most conservative, religious states in the union had a drier summer than the liberal ones. If you want to believe in signs (over, you know, weather patterns and global warming), then you should ponder what your deity may have been telling us about which states are doing it right.
Chapter 12- Instructions for the Israelites to destroy all the holy places of the gods of the native people when they take over the promised land. Instructions for eating meat.
“[Y]ou may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires.” “When…you say, ‘Let me eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you may eat as much meat as your heart desires.” Well, I guess the Lord has shown me the error of my vegetarian ways.
Verse 31 here condemns the native people for offering child sacrifices to their gods. So, I guess my baby-burger plans are out. But, seriously, I’m glad to see the OT God actually condemning something condemnable. Yay for a useful ethical guideline!
Chapter 13- If a prophet advises the people to follow a false god, it as a test from the real God to see if the people really love Him. The false prophet shall be put to death. If a family member or close friend tries to persuade you to follow another god, kill them. If a town starts following another god, kill them all.
God is a jerk. It plainly says in this chapter that God is the one testing the people with false prophets, but that the prophet should be put to death. It sounds like the prophet is just God’s puppet, with little-to-no say in the matter, yet he’s going to get killed?!
And, if it’s your “brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul,” you should “kill him: your hand shall be first against him to be put to death…and you shall stone him with stones until he dies.” So, no grace or clemency for loved ones; you should be chomping at the bit to kill those false god worshipin’ sonsabitches.
Interesting how there’s no attempt to bring wayward Israelites back in to the fold. These other gods must have been really enticing, since these people seem to have zero chance of returning to the “true” religion.
This chapter reminds me of the Islamic practice of killing the “infidel”, something we Americans love to condemn (and rightfully so, I’d say.) But, I would caution my Christian readers to think long and hard about what it means to decry a religion that is doing exactly what the Bible commands.