What’s the Diff? (Deuteronomy 4-6)

God is one of those annoying people at parties who tell you the same story even if you’ve heard it before and even if you say, “Yeah, I remember that one”. Those people tell you the story not for the benefit of others who haven’t heard it but just to hear their own voice.

In Deutoronomy 4, God deems it necessary to rehash the rule against making and worshipping idols and graven images. He admits to being a “jealous god” and a “devouring fire” (Deu 4:24). Why is it okay for God to be jealous but one of his people can’t covet his neighbour’s wife? In the words of a bratty friend of mine, Tara K., “What’s the diff?”.

A side note: Tara K. was any parent’s worst nightmare. Obnoxious and loud, she always managed to break something whenever she came over to my house and give a lot of sass to boot. One time my parents let me bring her to one of their friend’s cottages for the weekend. She broke a full stack of dishes and a special hammock from Costa Rica. When my parents’ friend criticized her for setting the table wrong (the blade of the knife facing out, not in), Tara simply stuck her hip out and asked, “What’s the diff?”. My parent’s friend full-on slapped her in the face. It was amazing. I can’t say I blame my parents’ friend. Tara had been there nearly thirty-six hours.

Back to God being jealous. He wants everyone to have the following posted on their doors: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Deu 6:4). That’s just too many words. Cumbersome compared to “Home, Sweet, Home”. This seems to me to be the Biblical equivalent of God wanting his people to post “In a Covenant” on their Facebook pages.

God keeps bringing up the fact that he brought his people out of Egypt, which he calls “the Iron Furnace” (Deu 4:24). I wonder why Egypt doesn’t use that epithet to promote tourism. Another side note: Cobourg, the town that I hail from, has a sign that reads, “Cobourg, the Feel Good Town”. I’ve always thought this would better fit a place like Cabo, which I imagine having more drinks in coconuts and less pregnant teenagers.


Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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