The Israelites have been kicked out of Egypt because they have ensured Pharaoh has had a truly bad, truly awful day (largely due to his inability to play poker at even the most basic level). Now that they are free, what lies ’round the bend?
“Hey Moses. Hey. Hey. Hey Moses. Wasn’t that awesome?”
“Yes, God. That was awesome. We are free. And Egypt is in ruins, suffering, diseased, and starving. Thank you.”
“Yeah. Hey, remember. Every year, we are going to have a week long party because of how awesome I am. And you’ll tell your kids that the party is because I am so awesome. Also, this party is not optional. If you do not party, I am gonna be so pissed. And you know what? Maybe some sacrificing is in order. Yeah, for the firstborn, I am gonna need some sacrifices. For every donkey, sacrifice a lamb. If you don’t have a lamb? Break that donkey’s neck. I COMMAND IT! And when your kids are like ‘how come we sacrifice so many lambs,’ tell ’em. Tell ’em that it is because I told you so. Because I am so awesome.”
“Yes, God. We’ll… We’ll make that work. Somehow,” and Moses turned to walk towards the land of the Caananites.
“NO!” God said. “Don’t go the short way. The Phillistines are jerks. We’ll go the long way.”
Moses heaved a sigh. “Alright. We go the long way.”
“One last thing. Remember Joseph? I’m sure you heard of him. He was a cool guy; I liked him. Go get his bones.”
“You heard me. Anyway, set up camp once you get to the Red Sea. I’m gonna have Pharaoh come to try and kill you, but wait ’till you see what I have planned. It’s gonna be awesome!”
After walking for some time, the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea, and Pharaoh came after them. When Pharaoh was close enough to be seen, the Israelites cried to Moses thus, “You led us out of slavery to die? The hell is wrong with you?”
Moses looked up at God, and said wearily “You know, God, it would be just… Just so much easier on me if you’d just tell everyone about your plans ahead of time.”
“Stop being a whiny bitch, it’s way more awesome when it’s a surprise! Anyway, tell the people, tell ’em I am gonna protect you. And make sure they are all watching.I want everyone to see this!”
Moses shook his head and shuffled over to a rock overlooking the people. Bracing his body, he threw out his arms and shouted “God is watching over us. Look, look, and watch at the might of God!”
“Hey, Moses. I just had a thought. I am gonna split the Red Sea so you can walk over it. So maybe I shouldn’t have had you set up camp. But still… Splitting the sea, right? That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? And I am going to make sure Pharaoh follows you, then BLOOOOOSH! Gonna drop a whole sea on him. I’ll bet they’ll talk about how awesome this is for like… 3,000 years!”
“But… But you just had us set up camp. Do you know how long it is going to take us to pack all this stuff up? Do you even care?”
“Hey, stop whining. I’ll buy you time in a way that is as awesome as it is effective. Take a look at the Egyptian army! There’s a pillar of flame all up in their face! BAM! How awesome is that?! Now pack up and get moving, I don’t care how hard you work.”
Moses and the Israelites gathered their belongings, protected by a giant pillar of flame that prevented the Egyptians and Pharaoh from following, and then the Red Sea was split in two. The Israelites crossed the sea on the land, and the flaming pillar died. The Egyptians surged forward, a mighty wave of gold and bronze, down into the chasm of the Red Sea.
Moses looked over his shoulder nervously as he walked towards the far bank. “Hey, God… I don’t mean to complain some more, but the Egyptians are moving pretty fast, hey? Like… Plenty fast enough to catch us.”
“Stop whining! All you do is whine! Fine, I’ll slow them down!” God did as God does, and the ground became wet, and the chariots and horses sank into the mud, slowing their progress. “Happy?”
The Israelites climbed onto the far bank of the Red Sea, looking back as the Egyptian army struggled after them.
“Hey, Moses, make sure everyone is watching! Are they watching, Moses?”
Moses sat down, weary, and replied “Yes, God, they are all watching. It would be hard not to, when an army is still slowly advancing on us. It would still just be fantastic if you would share your plans with everyone instead of just me.”
“Shut up! Watch this!” The waters fell in on the chariots of the Pharaoh, and the army of the Pharaoh, and they all drowned in a crushing torrent, and were never seen again. Some Israelites looked back, and realized that the Egyptians crushed to death by the sea were the lucky ones, as they had found the only possible escape from the starvation, disease, stench, and rot that was now the entire nation of Egypt–but the Israelites then turned and walked, following Moses ’round the bend.
“Hey Moses. Hey, I’m going to give you Canaan, a nation flowing with Milk and Honey. It is gonna be awesome. Hey, I heard milk and honey is actually just the best laxative. It’s gonna be hilari… I mean, you will have lots to eat and won’t suffer!”
Moses just shook his head and walked on. Sometimes, it was just better to let God have his way, and he wished he’d learned that lesson ages ago.
“Hey, don’t be a pouty face. You know what cheers me up when I’m feeling down? Songs. Songs cheer me up when I am feeling down. You should sing a song to me. Make it about how awesome I am. Sing a song about how I killed Pharaoh, I never get tired of that story!”
Moses took a deep, calming breath, and sang a song about how awesome it was that his people had just spent 430 years suffering before God decided to save them from bondage, and about how God left an entire nation in terrible, disease ridden straits, and made sure to mention how awesome God was in at least every verse so that he did not get smote.
Now, the long way to Canaan happened to run through a desert, and the 2 million Israelites could not find any water. They had forgotten that God was with them, and said to Moses “Seriously, it’s like you keep taking us from the edge of death to the next edge of death. At least under Egypt, we knew we’d have food and water, but we have been nearly dead at least once per day since we left. Get us some damn water, or we are going to turn this car around and sacrifice you to God.”
Moses replied “Give me a minute to talk to God. I am sure I can get another miracle out of him.” He walked around until he could find some privacy. “Hey, God? We need water. We need water right now; some of us are going to die of thirst, soon.”
“Oh damn! I forgot! People need to drink! Why didn’t you remind me before you spent three days in a desert? Bro, you are just the worst caretaker. Here, throw this stick in that awful, smelly spring over there. It’ll turn the water clean. Make sure to tell the people I did this for you, and remind them that I am awesome.”
Moses spluttered “But… But… Aren’t you the caretaker? Why am I the caretaker? I told you I didn’t want this job in the first place!”
“What’d I say about all that whining? Now go and give the people water, then get moving. There is lots of space left between you and Canaan, and I don’t see it getting covered. Oh, also tell the people that I am going to give you some laws, and if you break them I am gonna make them just as diseased as Egypt back there. Smelly frog corpses, Moses. So. Many. Frog Corpses.”
Moses shed a single tear, turned, and made the smelly spring run clear so that the Israelites could drink. After they had drank their fill, they moved on into an even larger desert, and wandered there for two months.
“Hey, Moses,” the Israelites said. “We’re out of food, again. And it has been a long time since we had any miracles from God. At least back in Egypt, we didn’t have to worry about whether we’d get a miracle on any given day. And hey, while we’re at it, this gold and silver we stole from Egypt is really heavy, and not very edible. What’s up with that?”
“I think God just likes shiny objects, honestly. But whatever, I’ll go and see if I can get God to miracle us up some food… But I’m going to warn you, he is probably going to put some silly restriction on the miracle for some reason.” So Moses turned, again, to find some privacy to talk with God.
“We need food, to live, and some water wouldn’t hurt. You have had us wandering around in a desert for 2 months, and there isn’t even two months worth of desert here. Have you had us walking around in circles?”
“Hey, hey, hey, what did I say about the whining? And about the food, here’s what I am gonna do. I am going to make it rain bread. Show me another god who can do that, right? There isn’t one! BAM! I’m so awesome. Oh hey, one thing though.” Moses closed his eyes, bracing himself for the conditions on this miracle. “You can only gather as much bread as you will eat. If you gather more bread, the miracles stop, capiche? If you can handle that for six days, then I’ll give you extra bread on the seventh day, because everything should be done in week long cycles, like my parties! And when you tell them about my condition, be sure to remind them how awesome I am, in case they forget.”
Moses opened his eyes and looked skyward. “Ok, I’ll give them the message… But why does it have to come from me? They hate me. They think I have killed them. And why didn’t you give us bread before we were starving to death? Why did you wait so long? Couldn’t you have miracled us up some bread thirty days ago?”
“What did I say about your incessant whining?!”
Moses turned and went to deliver the message. “Hey guys… God said he’d give us some food, just sit tight. And honestly? Please stop getting angry with me. God is the one who has the plan, and who has the power give us food. If you are going to lynch someone, try to lynch God, please? I am just… So tired of this. Anyway, God is going to give us food, but we aren’t allowed to pack extra. I don’t know why, so don’t go asking me. Just… Make sure you don’t store any in your packs, or else the food train stops.”
In the morning, when the bread rain came, many gathered, and some started to fill their packs. Shortly after, their packs were covered in maggots, and smelled of rot.
Moses followed his nose, and raged at those that had gathered too much. “What did I say about storing the food? Look, look at this plague! God said he’d do this, and hasn’t he proven he will follow through on every threat? Are you stupid? Did you forget already what God did to Egypt? HE WILL TOTALLY DO THAT TO US!”
“Oh, as part of the condition of getting food from God, incidentally, we are not allowed to pick up food on the seventh day, even if it is right in front of us and prepared, for some reason. So on Friday, we collect double the food, and on Friday you are allowed to store some. But only enough for Saturday. Please, please, don’t be dense this time. God will seriously ruin us if you don’t follow his command. Remember what happened just a few days ago? With the maggots and rot? Seriously, I just don’t want to put up with Him once He gets in a bad mood.”
When Saturday came, a bunch of Israelites went out to gather food, because if there is one thing that is boundless, it is stupidity and short memory.
God went up to Moses, “Hey, hey, what did I say about Saturday? The hell is wrong with you? Why are you breaking my commandments?”
Moses didn’t know what to say. “But God, I didn’t break any, I told them what you said.”
“Moses, don’t be an idiot. You are the caretaker, you are responsible for everything they do. And, given the sin in your ranks that I am seeing right now, you are going to have just like… the worst afterlife at this rate.”
“What?” Moses was startled.
“Oh, nothing. Don’t worry about it. Hey, I am not going to be making bread rain forever, so you should put some in a jar and keep it. When you show it to people, be all like ‘Hey, this is bread rain. Not every god can make it rain bread. Isn’t God awesome?’ Then tell them how awesome I am for making it rain bread when you were hungry.”
Moses shoved some bread in a jar, and put it in the ark of the covenant, which they apparently have for some reason. (Exodus 16:34)
God fed them rain bread for forty years in the desert before they came to the borders of Canaan. The whole time they spent in the desert, they wandered as God bade them, which raises serious questions about God’s navigational skills. But soon, soon they would be in a land of milk and honey!
We have exited the desert of Sin and the forty years of wandering. This seems a good place to take a break, before we enter the next saga.
It turns out it is harder to make fun of the parts that are in the Ten Commandments movie than I thought it would be, but we are nearing the end of the Ten Commandments saga, and then we can spice it up a little. Just have to hold out for 3 more chapters of Exodus, then we are on the other side of the hump.