Exodus – Chapter 17: Water From the Rock

The Israelites are now free of the Egyptians, but struggling with food and water as they march through the desert.  God is willing to help, but that help comes with many strings attached as we learned in Exodus 16.  Exodus 17 is titled “Water From the Rock” so I’m guessing there’s some impossible science coming up.  🙂  The people were hungry in Exodus 16 and now they are thirsty in Exodus 17.

“The Lord answered Moses, ‘Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.  I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’” – Exodus 17:5-6

Scientifically impossible.  The Bible would be much more believable if the stories were more realistic.  It would be much more believable if God pointed Moses to a place to dig a hole and several feet down, Moses finds water.  That would be a believable.  Water spouting out of a random rock in the desert is not believable.

“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.  When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” – Exodus 17:10-12

God is once again helping the Israelites, but that help comes with conditions.  A parent loves a child unconditionally, but God’s love is not unconditional.  In this case, God loves the Israelites and helps them defeat the Amalekites, but only if Moses keeps his hands raised.  Really?  That’s petty.  God is up wherever getting pissed when Moses gets tired and lowers his hands.  Then I must wonder about God’s intelligence.  Moses eventually rests his arms up on a rock, so he’s not really raising his arms.  He’s tricking God to some extent and God doesn’t realize this.  More evidence that God is not all-knowing.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’ – Exodus 17:14

Except God didn’t blot out the name of Amalek.  The Amalekites return later (e.g. 1 Samuel, Isaiah, etc.).  More to the point, if the name of Amalek was really blotted out, we wouldn’t be discussing it now as it wouldn’t appear in the Bible.

To sum up Exodus 17, the Israelites are thirsty, and God provides water through an impossible method.  God helps the Israelites defeat the Amalekites, but only with strings attached.  This is all evidence that God’s love is NOT unconditional.

Coming Soon:  Exodus – Chapter 18:  Jethro Visits Moses

Exodus – Chapter 16: Manna and Quail

Our journey through Exodus continues.  God has ‘led’ Moses out of Egypt by hardening hearts and killing Egyptians.  Moses and the Israelites sang a song to praise the murderous God.  What’s next?  Exodus 16 begins with the Israelites walking through the desert on the verge of starvation.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.  On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.’ – Exodus 16:4-5

The Christian message here is to obey God and all will be okay.  Disobey God and you will suffer.  Yet God NEVER speaks to the people.  God only speaks to Moses.  If God was really interested in helping the people and having them obey Him, He would speak directly to the people so they are absolutely clear as to His meaning.  On top of that, what sort of test is this?  God sent the people into the desert.  They are starving and possibly delirious and not clear of thought.  God is going to use food on a starving person as a test?  Cruel.  It’s help with strings attached.  An all-loving, caring God would not do this.

“While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.” Exodus 16:10

In other words someone saw a shape of a head in the clouds and called it God.  It’s the biblical version of Jesus on toast.  🙂

“When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.  When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it? For they did not know what it was.  Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.” – Exodus 16:14-16

Scientifically impossible unless you’re willing to ignore the reality of the world.  We later learn an omer is one tenth of an ephah, whatever that’s worth.

“However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” – Exodus 16:20

The people are starving.  I think one can forgive them for trying to stretch what they perceive as a one-time only food offering.  But not Moses.  Now, I will admit that maggots can develop in 24 hours, so the food being filled with maggots the next morning is not entirely unrealistic.

“Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.” – Exodus 16:21

Melted away?  Did God rain down ice cream cones?  After this Moses warns the people to not gather food on the seventh day.  The seventh day is a day of rest.

“Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?’” – Exodus 16:27-28

I get that the people disobeyed God’s command to rest on the seventh day, but God didn’t deliver that command in first person.  He delivered it through Moses, so the people should be given a bit of slack.  In addition, why is God always concerned with things like this and not concerned with more serious issues?  God allows the people to starve and be punished by the Egyptians and does nothing, but when the people collect bread on a day they shouldn’t, that’s when God puts his foot down.  This doesn’t sound like an all-knowing God.  If He was all-knowing, He’d know better.

There are a few other verses before the end of this chapter, but nothing of much importance.  The Israelites are now free of the Egyptians, but are starving in the desert.  God brings them food, but everything God provides always comes with strings attached.  A loving parent doesn’t attach strings to the love of their child.  The parent simply loves.  God doesn’t simply love.  He has many, many strings attached to His love.

Coming Soon:  Exodus – Chapter 17:  Water From the Rock

Leviticus 15:16-17

Last week’s crazy Bible verse focused on God’s wrath when a man spilled semen on the ground.  This week I’m sticking with the same theme of semen.

“When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening.  Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening.” – Leviticus 15:16-17

God has some very strict rules when it comes to semen.  If you masturbate, or have sex, and a bit of semen gets on you, you must bathe.  Okay, that makes sense.  Good hygiene is important, especially when it comes to semen.  However, after the bath, the man is clean.  That’s the point of the bath.  God, however, says that the man is unclean until evening.  So despite taking a bath, the man is still unclean, but in the evening, he suddenly becomes clean.  Interesting.  Crazy, but interesting.

As for the second statement, the same craziness holds.  Yes, any clothing with semen on it should be washed, but after it is washed the clothing is clean.  The act of washing does the cleaning, not the tick of the clock toward evening.  There’s also a loophole in the second sentence that every man should know.  If you want to avoid getting semen on your clothes, don’t wear clothes when you masturbate or have sex.  Duh.  🙂

Exodus – Chapter 15: The Song of Moses and Miriam

When we last looked in the Bible (Exodus 14), God was hardening the hearts of the Egyptians, forcing them to chase after the Israelites, until they entered the spread sea walls.  At this point God crashed the water down upon them and killed the Pharaoh and his men.  That’s a loving God for you.  Pharaoh and his men did what they did ONLY because God hardened their hearts.  God caused the Israelites to suffer and God killed the Egyptians.  What’s next?  Singing.  Seriously.  Exodus 15 starts with a song sung by Moses and the Israelites.

“I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.” – Exodus 15:1

Moses and the Israelites are now taking a break to praise a murderer.

“The Lord is a warrior…” – Exodus 15:3

I’ll give Moses this.  The Lord is certainly a warrior.  Like many warriors, He kills for a living.

“Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power.  Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.” – Exodus 15:6

The Egyptians were indeed enemies, but only because God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart.

“In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you.” – Exodus 15:7

The Egyptians didn’t oppose God of their own free will.  They opposed God because God FORCED them to oppose Him.

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.” – Exodus 15:13

That unfailing love only applies to certain people (i.e., the Israelites) and comes with strings attached.  How many Israelites died because God forced the Egyptians to harm the Israelites?  Is that really unfailing love?

“Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.” – Exodus 15:21

I’ve already said this but it’s worth saying again.  Christians are praising and worshiping a God who MURDERED innocent people.  This is NOT a loving God and NOT a god to be exalted.  The Israelites have now left the sea and entered the desert.

“For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water…then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.” – Exodus 15:22-25

ROFL!  There are ways to desalinate water to make it fit to drink.  Throwing a piece of wood into the water isn’t one of them.  LOL!

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’” – Exodus 15:26

Hmmm…I’d be careful if I were the Israelites.  God has been known to harm those who do good on a moment’s notice.  Look no further than the book of Job for more on this.

To conclude Exodus 15, Moses and the Israelites are ‘saved’ and worship God in song.  God tells them to obey Him and all will be good.  Only time will tell.  🙂

Coming Soon:  Exodus – Chapter 16: Manna and Quail

Book Review – 2001: A Space Odyssey

My most recently read book was 2001:  A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.  Being a science fiction and fantasy geek, I can’t believe I had never read this book before.  Blasphemy!!!  LOL!  🙂  Now, however, I’ve remedied that.  What a fantastic book!  Written in the late 1960s, it’s amazing how well Clarke did discussing/inventing advanced technology that we use to some extent today.  Sure, there are some pieces of technology in the book that aren’t used today and may never be used, but much of what is in the book is realistic.

This is a MUST read for any science lover out there.  It’s a great gift idea for your loved ones too!  Not sure what to get them?  Get them 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  If it isn’t already clear by now, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Exodus – Chapter 14: Crossing the Sea

We’re at the point in the Bible where God has decided to finally let Moses and his people leave Egypt.  Remember, it was God who hardened the Pharaoh’s heart each and every time.  Thus it wasn’t the Pharaoh holding Moses in Egypt, it was God.  Exodus Chapter 14 brings us the crossing of the sea.

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” – Exodus 14:4

So let me get this straight.  God finally lets Moses and his people leave, but then decides, nah, I’m not quite done screwing them over and hardens the Pharaoh’s heart AGAIN!  On top of that, look at how conceited God is when He says “but I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh”.  This is God.  Why does an all-mighty God need glory?  Even if He did, why through the method of harming innocent people?

“The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.” – Exodus 14:8

The people have left Egypt.  There’s no need to harden the Pharaoh’s heart further!

“It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” – Exodus 14:12

The Israelites are saying this to Moses.  Unfortunately they are speaking to the wrong person.  God is the one sending the Egyptians after the Israelites.  He says so Himself when He told Moses He would harden the Pharaoh’s heart.  Moses responds with:

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14

Except He isn’t.  Or rather, this is the case of someone trying to impress someone else by kidnapping them and then rescuing them to get the credit.  That’s exactly what God is doing in this chapter.

“Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” – Exodus 14:16

This makes for a good story and great movie scenes, but not scientifically possible.  Believing Moses spread the sea requires one to ignore all of known science in the world.

“I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.” – Exodus 14:17

This is truly an evil God.  Letting the Israelites escape is not enough.  God intends to kill the Egyptians by hardening the hearts of ALL the Egyptians.  God is choosing to needlessly kill people who are only doing what they are doing because God hardened their hearts to do evil.

“Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.” – Exodus 14:27

So much for God being loving.  He just savagely murdered the Pharaoh and the Egyptians with him.

“That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians…” – Exodus 14:30

Um…no.  That is NOT what happened.  Exodus 14:30 should say “That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Lord Himself…”  That would be a much more accurate version of the truth.

That concludes Exodus Chapter 14.  God wasn’t done hardening the Pharaoh’s heart.  God continued to harden his heart and the hearts of his men until God led them into a trap and killed all of them.  Yes, that is the God Christians worship.  This isn’t some secret recently discovered.  It’s right there in the Bible, available to ALL to read!  God killed innocent people.  It’s as simple as that.  The Israelites were already free of the Egyptians, but God forced the Egyptians to come after the Israelites.  If there really is a heaven and this is the God in charge, send me to hell, because heaven is worse than any imaginable hell.

Coming Soon:  Exodus – Chapter 15:  The Song of Moses and Miriam

Exodus – Chapter 13: Consecration of the Firstborn

In our last look at Exodus (Chapter 12), God needed the Israelites to mark their homes with blood so He knew who to kill and not to kill.  You know, because an all-knowing God needs blood markings to really know for sure.  God also sent down rules on the Passover celebration.  He was very concerned about how people made their bread and how they ate it.  Let’s see what’s going on in Chapter 13.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.’” – Exodus 13:1

At least God’s not killing the firstborn!  That’s an improvement, right?

“Then Moses said to the people, ‘Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand.’” – Exodus 13:3

True, I suppose, but only if one forgets the hardening of the Pharaoh’s heart God did to make all of this happen.

“On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’” – Exodus 13:8

The Lord did for you?  Kill innocent Egyptians?  Um…ok.

“All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord.” – Exodus 13:12

God is always concerned about the important matters in life.

“With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” – Exodus 13:14

Slavery was bad when the Israelites were the ones being enslaved, but it’s okay for the Israelites to have slaves themselves.  That’s the God of the Bible Christians worship.

In case you think the Israelites are celebrating the love of God, think again.  Read the verses below.

“When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.” – Exodus 13:15

The Bible directly states that the Passover celebration is a celebration of God killing the first male offspring of every Egyptian human and animal.  Think about that when Passover is celebrated each year.  It’s not a celebration of love; it’s a celebration of murder, death, and evil by the hands of God.

To sum up this chapter, the Israelites have left Egypt and are celebrating, but what are they celebrating?

Coming Soon:  Exodus – Chapter 14:  Crossing the Sea