Moses had just had a temper tantrum, and the Israelites were dangerously close to complete obliteration from God, all for making a golden calf and worshiping it.
- In order to appease God, Moses said to the Levites who were following him: “Each man grab a sword and go through the camp, killing people. That’ll teach the Israelites a lesson!”
2. So the Levites did as Moses had commanded, and three thousand people were killed.
3. And Moses apologized on behalf of the Israelites to God, and he said, “I will blot out all of the people who have sinned against me from my book.”
4. Except that he didn’t blot them out, because otherwise we wouldn’t know this whole thing happened.
5. But God STILL wasn’t finished punishing the Israelites – he threw a plague at them for good measure. And God spoke to Moses once more,
6. “Now leave this place, and go to the Holy Land. I will send an angel ahead of you to wipe out all the people who stand in our way, because that’s just what I like to do,” God said, “But I will not be stalking you this time, because quite frankly you lot are so annoying I might just lose my temper and kill you all.”
7. The Israelites heard this and were distressed, but Moses reassured them, “Don’t worry, as long as you stay out of his way and worship him then he won’t kill you, because that’s how God’s love works.”
8. Moses then had the Israelites build a special meeting tent outside of the camp, where he and God could go and chat over a cup of tea. The Israelites worshiped near the tent whenever one of these tea parties happened, and quite frankly I think God was enjoying the attention.
9. It was during one of these meetings that Moses asked an important question. “How will we know when you are pleased with us if you do not come with us? And how will our enemies know that we are the chosen people? What will distinguish us from all of the other people on the earth?” Moses asked.
10. “Hmm… I never thought of that,” God said, “I guess I’ll have to come with you after all. In fact, I’ll even show myself to the rest of you, but only my back, because nobody can see my face and live for some reason that I’ve not yet come up with.”
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