God teaches Moses magic tricks
Day 15 - Moses starts off Chapter 4 by teaching Moses a series of magic tricks: 1) turning a staff into a snake, 2) the leprous hand healing trick, and 3) turning water into blood.
What an odd collection of tricks to exhibit, especially when the desired outcome is to free an entire culture from slavery. Moses was still a little nervous, even with these handy dandy magic tricks up his sleeve. "Um, God. I'm not a very good speaker also."
God admits something very odd in response. "Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?"
Does this mean that God makes retarded people on purpose? Yes! Apparently. I always thought that, theologically speaking, Down's Syndrome and other birth defects were derived from the Original Sin. But in Exodus 4:11 God's saying that He makes them dumb. Well, that answers a lot of questions! Except for, "Why?"
Well anyways, God arranges to have Moses's well-spoken brother Aaron speak on behalf of him.
Amazingly, God tells Moses that after the magic tricks, He (God) will harden the heart of the Pharoah so that he will still not free the Israelites. This hardening of the heart eventually leads to the slaughter of first-born sons, and eventually the plagues, locusts, etc. Personally, I think the big Y.H.W.H. just wants to use his omnipotence on the Egyptians. Y'know? Just for the hell of it! I would.
I think it's a horrible thing, but that's because I'm speaking from a human perspective. But from an all-knowing and all-powerful standpoint, it would be kind of like burning ants with a magnifying class, except on a much vaster scale. Yes, I was one of those boys who did that. That's why there's no doubt that the God of the Bible is definitely an immature man - maybe even a boy! An all-knowing, all-powerful pre-pubescent male.
Putting foreskin on Moses' feet
Before Moses reaches Egypt, God ruffles Moses up a little. He actually tries to kill Moses because his son hasn't been circumcised yet! Perhaps at the last moment, Moses' wife slices the offending extra skin off and throws it at Moses's feet, and the all-powerful Lord of the Universe stops trying to kill Moses. In the words of instant messagers and bloggers around the world: WTF!!!
I guess it's a good idea to have a foreskin handy next time God attacks you!
First visit to the Big P
The Big P is the Pharoah, in case you were wondering. Chapter 5 is about Moses, Aaron, and God's first meeting with the king of Egypt. It didn't work out too well. Actually, I think it pissed the Pharoah off.
The Pharoah ordered that no more straw be given to the Israelites to help them in their brickmaking, but they still had the same quota of bricks to make. Yea, the Pharoah is a complete asshole. The Israelites inability to produce gets them in trouble and they are treated even worse. So, the Israelites blame Moses and then Moses complains to God.
God says, "Hey Moses, this is all part of the plan. Now you're going to see what I can do, bub."
The Second Visit
After Moses whines to God, God reveals His "other name" to Moses - Jehovah. Big whoop. Moses is asking why God doesn't do anything, and the best God can do is tell Moses another one of his multiple names?
God reassures Moses that this is all part of His divine plan. Moses again approaches the pharoah. Remember when he complained to God about being a bad speaker? Well, he complains again, saying, "how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?"
Uncircumcised lips? Wow, that's kind of a strange thing to blurt out. Moses really does have a problem; it's called Tourette's.
After another long and boring bloodline, Moses finally visits the Pharoah and sparks a very odd (and ridiculous) magical show. Moses and Aaron throw down their rods, and the Pharoah brings his magicians into the fray. The Pharoah's magicians were able to replicate the serpentine rod experiment, but their serpents were eaten by Moses's. Next, Moses and Aaron place their staffs into the Nile, and it turns to blood and stinks up the place.
What's funny is that the magicians do the same thing, making the river even worse!
Then Moses, with the help of God, create an invasion of frogs. And of course, the magicians do so too! Stupid magicians.
The magicians fail with the next magic trick - LICE! Yep, Moses and Aaron create lice all throughout the land, but the magicians couldn't pull that one off. It was impressive they were able to do the other stuff, though, I'll give them that.
Then, Moses, Aaron, and God send a swarm of FLIES! Holy crap! But that didn't work, so Team Jehovah kill off all of Egypt's cows! Nope. Didn't work. The Pharoah won't budge.
Team Jehovah launches another divine attack, this time with boils on the skin of Egyptians. But still, the Pharoah would not budge. This is one tough Pharoah, mind you. Another attack by Moses and Aaron and God - HAIL AND FIRE to destroy Egypt's crops!
But still, the Pharoah would not budge. He would not free the Israelites. In retaliation, God (and Moses and Aaron) send locusts to eat the crops even more. No dice.
God and company do another plague - DARKNESS!!! The land was dark for three days (except for wherever an Israelite happened to stay. But still the Pharoah wouldn't change his stance.
It takes one final plague to change the Pharoah's mind long enough to free the Israelites. God sends out an angel to slaughter the firstborn of Egypt. After experiencing the death of his son, the Pharoah finally lets them go.