NAVIGATIONALLY-CHALLENGED: MOSES IN THE DESERT

So, THE WAY THEY TELL IT, God wanted to get rid of all those who had experienced slavery. To accomplish this task, he made the twelve tribes walk around the Sinai wilderness for forty years.


Forty years? Seriously?

That area isn’t all that big. To keep walking for that long, they had to have crossed their own paths repeatedly. Didn’t anyone shout out: “Hey, Moses. I’m pretty sure we’ve been here before. Hey, Levi, haven’t we been here before? Look, there’s where we put the tents. I think there are a few poles left over …”

If the idea was to get rid of the “slave mentality,” why couldn’t they just make a camp and hang out until the time was up? Stop walking. Play guitars. Sing some songs. Play cards.

Why did they have to keep walking? Was there a fitness or exercise requirement? Was it like jail where you have this hour or two a day during which you have to keep walking and walking and walking? Why does the idea of walking in circles for 40 years make me laugh hysterically?

Garry says we have this same conversation every year, immediately following our ritual viewing of “The Ten Commandments.” It must be pretty funny, because I’m still laughing.

And because this never stops making me laugh, please enjoy this little video of “Life with the Twelve Tribes.” I’m sorry I can’t embed the video, but it’s worth a few minutes of your time to give this a look. Not only is it funny, but it is oddly timely in this strange period in which we are living.


http://videocloud.aish.com/movies/Google%20Exodus.mp4

Happy whatever you celebrate!

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

41 thoughts on “NAVIGATIONALLY-CHALLENGED: MOSES IN THE DESERT”

        1. The Sinai is small and if you choose the coastal route, quite lovely. All seashore and wild camels and fig trees. Six days and 5 hours. Add another few days for sleeping outside in the warm spring air … and it’s STILL under two weeks.

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      1. Don’t forget Moses was a guy, and you know how guys hate to ask for directions. Typically he’d rather wander in circles than admit he doesn’t have a clue.., even if it takes 40 years. “Hey! I’m not lost, I never get lost, I’m always somewhere, and right now I’m here, so get off my back, ok?” Even if he wanted to get directions.., no gas stations, or convenience stores out there on the Mohave.., wait, wait, don’t tell me, I know this one.., Sahara, right?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, Fandango did a calculation that shows the walk from Cairo to Jerusalem — ON FOOT — takes 6 days and 5 hours. Even stopping over night, add another 4 days, so we get fewer than two weeks. Didn’t they all NOTICE they’d been there before?

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        2. I need to mention that if you don’t take the roads and walk along the ocean front, it’s shorter and much more pleasant. LOVELY beaches (watch out for the sea urchins — they really HURT). Avoid the wild camels — they don’t care much for people. Enjoy the fresh fix and other available veggies. It’s really quite a lovely walk and even if you decide you really love this beach and decide to hang out there for a while — forty years? You’d have to keep going back to start and doing it again. It’s a lot longer from Phoenix to any other city in Arizona.

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          1. “Wild Camels,” Now there’s a mental image to cope with. I mean, camels are funny looking, to begin with, so if they are coming at you at full charge gallop, what do you do? I guess this is the way they get you, they tromp you as you, helplessly, double over from laughter? Nature has its amazing ways… On the other hand, “running,” could get you there a little sooner.., as well as, maybe, avoid a tromping?

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            1. When a camel rises up on his hind legs and goes to hit you with his front legs, he will crush your chest. They don’t bite, but they are VERY powerful. They look funny, but they can and will kill you and enjoy it, too.

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    1. That’s what I said. I knew a guy in Jerusalem who walked from central Kenya — the mountains, not Nairobi or Mombasa — to Jerusalem. Through the Sudan which, at the time, was heavily occupied with Russian troops — and came to Jerusalem (he was convinced he was Jewish and for all I know, he was) — and it took him just under two years. And that included hiding from the Russians.

      Forty years? Seriously?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I have often commented that cell phones could have massively changed history. So many battles were fought AFTER the war was over. And just imagine, calling ahead to warn the Philistines that “THE JEWS ARE COMING, THE JEWS ARE COMING” and they are bringing God with them!

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  1. Wishing you a Peaceful Pesach! 😉

    As i recall my Exodus, Moses was appointed leader of the Israelites in their escape from the evil Pharoah, but he wasn’t the one calling the shots, The Lord was! Moses and his homies followed behind the Cloud of the Lord that led their wandering path though the Sinai wilderness. Those who felt they could do a better job than God leading the group (and what man doesn’t?) received a rather quick come-uppance it seemed to me, especially at the Mount?

    It is just conceivable that God had a point he wanted to make? 😉 Instilling some discipline and obedience maybe??

    Naturally, it didn’t last long! 🙂

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  2. 😀 Good question. I think “40” is just one of those Bible numbers. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights so that he could be (not all that) effectively tempted by Satan. Personally, I think the people he was leading must have been a really frustrating group, always making idols to Baal when they had free time. Maybe it just SEEMED like 40 years.

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    1. Could have been the LONGEST two weeks in history. When they say those Jews were a stiff-necked tribe, they weren’t just kidding. Someone should have confiscated those Baal-making tools and told them to do something useful — like build chariots or wagons or something.

      And if we’d had the internet, the whole thing could have been settled with tweets.

      Does God tweet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No. Tweeting is diabolical. I love that part of the Bible. I love Moses arguing with God about God’s name. “God, Dude, here’s the deal. These people are, you have NO idea. Just give me a name, please, for the love of, of, of whoever.” And the Bush laughed and said, “OK, here’s something unpronounceable. Have fun with it and, by the way, you don’t get to SEE the promised land. Ni-ner, ni-ner…”

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        1. But they do mention that Moses lived to (I forget) but some great age like 120 — and he could still “do it.” That apparently mattered. Moses was really old, couldn’t get into the Holy Land, but he could have sex. Alrighty, then.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. …Or they just needed something to keep them busy to pass the time while Moses was wandering up and down mountains and kibitzing with burning bushes etc. I guess some of them really got into it.., you know, the idol thing?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw the video and have been reading the comments and can’t stop laughing.
    Happy Passover, Happy Easter and it will soon be Happy April Fools to one and all.
    Leslie

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