So perhaps this book is the first look at what it really means to have faith in God. Yes, Noah had plenty of faith (in Genesis) but his story doesn’t get the thorough treatment that Moses gets here. Abraham and his lineage were also tested (and we get a fair amount of their story); yet, again, it seems that Moses is truly the first person in the Bible to pick up that torch and run with it.
He’s also a complex character—early in his story he kills a man in cold blood. Sure, it seems that his heart is in the right place (the guy was abusing a Hebrew), but we don’t get the full picture. He also is the one who gets to do some pretty cool things. How many people can say they’ve talked to a burning bush, brought water from a rock, turned a staff into a snake—one that ate all the OTHER staffs that had been turned into snakes—and parted a sea?! And he only loses his temper a couple times. Not bad.
He also provides a lot of positive examples through his story. He is willing to take a man’s life in the service of saving another (sometimes it happens). He puts his life on the line to do God’s work (though, to be honest, why should he be worried?). Except for trying to kill Moses, you would think God would have his back. He also provides for the people he leads—yet he doesn’t over do it, for he provides just enough and no room for greed. Worthwhile lessons. These make a strong case for taking only what you need and avoiding gluttony. Given the weight problem in our country, perhaps some of us should take note.
As with parts of Genesis, I enjoyed that this was not some clean, easy thing that Moses pulled off. He really had to work for it. And the people weren’t wowed and kept comfortable by the promise of what lay ahead for them—they were miserable and not afraid to speak up. For me, this makes these types of stories more relatable. It’s also why, perhaps, these stories have endured for so long.
Looking ahead to Leviticus – every gay’s favorite part. I can’t wait to hear how homosexuality is an abomination and also how tattoos are forbidden. I’ve learned about these parts through pictures of people with tattoos that quote the parts of Leviticus that forbid homosexuality.