A Singsong to Appease the Narcissistic Tyrant
The Israelites, as you may well imagine, are a bit giddy after having walked through a sea while it drowned the army behind them. And they seem to know that if they want to survive, they’re going to have to reassure their narcissistic tyrant of a god that he’s really, really glorious, and they definitely know he’s the LORD.
So Moses leads them in a little singsong.
The first verse assures God that he sure is glorious and triumphant, drowning all those cavalry dudes and their horses like he did. Inoffensive, meek little ants may sing similar songs to us when we poison the army ants’ nest in the garden, but leave theirs unmolested. I’m afraid it won’t help them when we get round to spading up the spot they’re living in. (Ex. 15:1)
The second verse assures God that he’s all that plus their salvation, and they’ll build him a nice house, and exalt him like dear old Dad did. This can be a good thing to tell a bully if you decide you’d rather become a sycophant than get punched in the face again. (Ex. 15:2)
The third verse is rather matter-of-fact, pointing out that “the LORD is a man of war” and “the LORD is his name.” It sounds like they’d like to make damned sure the LORD knows it’s not necessary to issue them any painful or fatal reminders of either fact. (Ex. 15:3)
The fourth and fifth verses return to dwell on Pharaoh’s fate, and how all his chariots and army men and captains were all “drowned in the Red Sea,” and they’ve all sunk like a stone. The Israelites know their god’s quite proud of his smiting prowess, and wish to reassure him they noticed, so that he won’t feel tempted to demonstrate it on them. (Ex. 15:4-5)
The sixth verse is where they wax eloquently over the glorious power and strength of God’s right hand. They quickly add that it’s the right hand that dashed the enemy to pieces. It’s good they added that bit: it was starting to sound like they were commenting on the LORD’s masturbatory prowess. (Ex. 15:6)
The seventh verse dwells lovingly on how in “the greatness” of the LORD’s “excellency” he totally kicked the Egyptians’ asses, and lavishes praise upon his mighty wrath wot consumed them. One must assure God he’s a macho-mighty god, lest he begin to feel inadequate and get an itchy smiting finger again. (Ex. 15:7)
The eighth verse informs us where the mighty east wind that parted the sea came from: God’s incredible nostrils. It rather sounds like he sneezed, but they try to make it sound as epic as possible. (Ex. 15:8)
The ninth verse speculates as to the enemy’s state of mind. They seem to have no idea that the Egyptians weren’t pursuing them from their own lust, greed, or anger, but because their very own God mindfucked them into it so he could show off his army smashing prowess. (Ex. 15:9)
The tenth verse reassures God that they absolutely did notice how he drowned the Egyptians. Please don’t hit us, LORD. (Ex. 15:10)
The eleventh verse tells God there’s no other god like him, nosiree. You’re the bestest, most holiest, most amazing magician of all. We love you, please don’t kill us. (Ex. 15:11)
The twelfth verse tells God they absolutely positively without doubt did notice what he did to the Egyptians. Only they screw up and say the earth swallowed Pharaoh’s army, without mentioning the drowning part. Whoops! Hope God doesn’t notice! (Ex. 15:12)
The thirteenth verse quickly covers for that blunder by telling God how merciful he is to the Israelites, and how strong he’s been, guiding them to his holy house. Which they haven’t built yet. Totally will, though. Remember, O LORD, you’re merciful. Mer-ci-ful. (Ex. 15:13)
The fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth verses crow over how shit-scared all the people in Palestine are going to be when they hear about God. The royalty and “mighty men” and the very inhabitants shall be amazed, start shaking, and just melt away – or freeze like a rock – they’ll be so terrified of God, and they’ll stay that way until his people pass. Hopefully. If God doesn’t forget, or end up in a snit and let their enemies have their way with them. (Ex. 15:14-16)
The seventeenth verse reminds God that he promised them a place to live at the end of all this. They’ll even let him take credit for building the sanctuary which they, actually, are gonna build. It’s best to give Dear Leader the credit for everything so he doesn’t get cranky. (Ex. 15:17)
The eighteenth verse assures God he’ll reign forever and ever. Not like those other gods who were popular for a while, but their fifteen minutes of fame are so over. (Ex. 15:18)
And the nineteenth verse lets the LORD know, one more time, that they definitely did see what he did with the Egyptians, and my, how clever, doing all that drowning while we got to walk on nice dry land in the middle of the sea. Boy, that sure was awesome – wasn’t it awesome, everybody? Tell God it was awesome before he gets pissy. (Ex. 15:19)
Aaron’s sister Miriam then has all the women come out dancing with timbrels to let the LORD know he sure did gloriously show those Egyptians he killed, indeed, and their little horses, too. (Ex. 15:20)
This is apparently enough singing the LORD’s praises for now, and they get on with their journey. Unfortunately, God is shit is finding ways through the desert that include water. They go without any for three days. When they finally do find some, it’s bitter, and they can’t drink it. You’d think that after all that vigorous stroking of his ego they did, God would’ve at the very least provided them with clean drinking water. But no, he can’t do anything nice until people are suffering and begging. It’s only after the people complain to Moses, and Moses cries to God, that God has him thrown in a magic tree to make the water sweet. (Ex. 15:21-25)
God decides this is a great time to lay down some rules. He tells them, “If you listen carefully to me, and to what I think is right (no matter how asinine it is), and listen to my commandments, and follow all my orders, I won’t infect you with all the diseases like I did the Egyptians, cuz I’m the god that heals you. Capisce?” (Ex. 15:25-26)
I dunno about you, but I’m of the opinion that when your God starts to sound like a Mafia don, it’s probably time to flee and look for one that isn’t as likely to abuse the shit out of you, then pretend it’s love.
Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Coming Soon!
Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. I: Genesis is now available at Amazon! Worldwide, even! Pick up your copy today.