Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Sick Society? Keep Taking the Tablets!

So, the Israelites were set free from their slavery and had to set about making a society. They did a bit of moaning –  wearing rose-tinted glasses, remembering the times of routine and plenty before the days of Moses. They went through some trial-and-error with God: balancing their own common sense with God’s arbitrary suggestions.

Things seemed to go better when they did it the way God had suggested in the first place. Fewer maggots in the breakfast.

It wasn’t maggots in my breakfast this week – but when I watched the news this week about the riots in England it was sickening. Ignorant, glaikit, opportunistic neds. Selfish, lawless, destructive thoughtlessness. English society in meltdown.

So the news discussion shows are analysing away as to “Why?” these riots should occur. And there are lots of reasons. But with my current saturation in Exodus, it is my only frame of reference right now and I find myself comparing the rabble of the Israelites with the thugs involved in the riots.

Moses, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and talking with God up the mountain, came down with a BRILLIANT plan. Inscribed by the finger of God on tablets of stone were some commandments. (The political correctness within me wants to say they were ‘suggestions’ but, anyway…)

Among other laws, there were these social decencies, put on tablets of stone:

Honour your father and your mother

You shall not murder

You shall not steal

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his man-servant or his maid-servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Pretty basic, you’d think. But this week saw lawlessness.

We don’t like to “tell people what to do”.  But we should. We should get these back onto tablets of stone and consider them absolute.

That’s all I have to say about Exodus. 😀

Much as I am “for” the ten commandments,  I leave my musings on the whole Exodus story with a trailer for the hypothetical sequel (that I am not doing):

 “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

John 1 vs 17


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4 thoughts on “Sick Society? Keep Taking the Tablets!

  1. Rickster on said:

    We’ve always read the 10 commandments as, well, erm, commandments… “THOU SHALT NOT “. The problem is, if they are commands, in law, how on earth do you enforce number 10? Thou shalt not covet.

    Pondering that a year or two back led me to a great flash of insight. They’re not commandments. At least, not in the way we think of them these days. Read it as 10 pieces of advice for a peaceful society – do these and pretty much everything else will take care of itself.

    1. Be united in religion. No religious tension or intolerance.
    2. Be united in a real religion. No false ones, OK?
    3. Don’t use God as an excuse for doing things he didn’t tell you to do. (Swearing is not the half of it!)
    4. Take time off to relax every week.
    5. Look out for your families and treat older people well. Not asking much really.
    6-9. Don’t abuse your neighbours.
    10. Sort out your attitude to stuff. Let’s face it, if you get this one right, you won’t actually break any of 6-9 either.

    Its advice, not rules. And if everyone follows it, life will be good.

  2. Here in the States, the left is looking at the riots happening in London and some are wondering how long before it happens here. They are thinking that it is the realization of the youth that all the opportunities that were to be had in the previous generations are gone for them and the overwhelming feeling of pointlessness is going to boil over and explode like in the U.K. Like you said, the Israelites were having hard times after the wilderness and the lack of a safe harbor so to here in the present day, many are feeling bereft and lacking in stability and safety.

  3. I’ve heard them called “The Ten Steps to Freedom” and society does fall apart when we ignore them
    But He predicted we would, didn’t He?

  4. A thought-provoking post with a clever connection. And excellent comments, too.

    If we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that you only need to scratch the surface of civilisation to find anarchy. As long as people care only about themselves, this sort of thing will keep happening.

    But it was good to see the other side of Britain – the father of a murdered son who called for peace, not revenge; and the thousands who got out onto the streets to clean up.

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