Monday, March 22, 2010

Deuteronomy, Chapters 8-10

Chapter 8

God tells the Israelites that he has been leading them around the desert for the past 40 years as a test of faith and to get them to trust him. Here's a way to get people to trust you: promise them a country, then give it to them. Here's a way to get people to obey you out of fear: send plagues, snakes, earthquakes and fire when they don't obey you. Which one is more familiar?

Apparently, god also didn't let their clothes or shoes wear out in those 40 years. This is followed by yet another promise that Canaan will be bountiful and they'll be rich if they follow his commands. If they don't: death!

Chapter 9

The first people to be defeated will be the giant Anakims. The Israelites are then informed that they are not getting Canaan because they're virtuous, but rather because the Canaanites are so bad. I wouldn't really care, as long as I got it. Moses then starts into a long list of their sins and rebellions and all the times he's had to go up into the mountain to appease god and how he didn't even have time to eat or drink for 40-day stretches because he was so busy negotiating for their sorry hides.

Chapter 10

Moses reminds them of how he got the Ten Commandments on stone tablets which he then locked into the Ark of the Covenant before anyone could read them, and how Aaron died. Then he reminds them to Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heart (v. 16), which according to Jerry means an uncircumcised heart is one that is closed and impervious to god. You can also have uncircumcised ears and lips.

Finally, the chapter closes with an exhortation to be kind to strangers, especially the orphans and widows. Well, except for the ones he has commanded them to kill, like the Midianites, where, if you will recall, god specifically tells them to kill the non-virgin women (widows) and male children.

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