Live Blogging the Bible: Deuteronomy 10:21
by Noah Lugeons
Deuteronomy is boring compared to the other books of the bible.
That’s like saying someone is fat by sumo standards; ugly for a game show contestant; stupid for a CNN anchor. This thing is painfully, brutally, nut-crunchingly boring.
The book consists of three speeches that Moses gives and they have the feel of speeches you would give if there was no clock running on your last words. It has all the intrigue of a filibuster. It’s like reading about people studying people watching paint dry.
And if anything, I’m overselling the intrigue.
So when I say that I found verse 10:21 interesting, I feel that I should begin by qualifying the broad spectrum of relative application of the word interesting one must employ to apply it to something in Deuteronomy. We’re in the first act of Moses’ second speech where he’s rehashing the rehashing we were doing earlier and he’s reminding all the Israelites just what a bad mother fucker god is.
So he drops this line:
He is your praise; he is your god, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.
This is not the first time Moses appeals to empirical evidence to convince people of his holiness. God was more than happy to devour houses in Numbers or send gnats and flies in Exodus or make rocks bleed Aquafina in Leviticus whenever anybody started doubting his royal godness. Granted, he would then curse them, plague them and bury them in pheasants or something, but he wasn’t shy about appearing as a mountain of fire or wandering around the encampments in cloud form.
Clearly, then, god understands that we need to see some proof.
It seems reasonable to me to ask why it was reasonable for this one minuscule sliver of humanity to demand proof from god, but now that we have cameras and science and a million ways to verify the miraculousness of a miracle, god can’t be bothered. It’s somehow beneath him. Now that it’s easier than ever to communicate with the whole world at once. Now that it’s easier than ever to prove himself in a way that would satisfy even the most skeptical among us.
The standard retort of the theist is that god wants us to have faith, but that doesn’t sound like the genocidal ass-stain I know and love from the bible. He was all about flexing his muscle. What, did he mature? Was he imperfect back then and then grew up? Hard to imagine a timeless being maturing significantly in the eye-blink of human existence, but it seems like the strongest thread they have to hold onto.
Anyway, back to work. Somehow we’ve still gotta figure out how to do a segment about a book that does nothing but rehash shit we’ve already made fun of.