Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Ten Commandments
Well, well, well. It's that time of the year again. Spring is coming, flowers are blooming, Easter is just around the corner, and "The Ten Commandments" is once again coming on television!
This of course is my favorite movie of all time. Now, I know for a lot of you that have heard me recite every line from "Silence of the Lambs", that may be somewhat of a surprise. But I think its great. You have to admit, it is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible and the movie is certainly one of the most dramatic movies of all time.
There are a number of things about the movie that run through my mind each time I watch it. To begin with, the Pharoah and anyone that followed him must have had some sort of learning disability. Now, I can somewhat see the thought process of Pharoah; he had all the wealth, owned the entire city and ruled everyone. But it is still a little hard to believe, that in the end, someone could be that stupid.
Now I am sure Rameses, Pharoah's son, was loving life in the beginning. Here is Moses, the thorn in Rameses' side for so long. His father loved Moses more, his woman wanted Moses to ravage her, and Moses was better at building this great city they were working on. So, when they found out Moses was a slave, don't you know that Rameses was elated! Even then, everyone was ready to accept him. But Moses refused and decided to live amongst the slaves. So then Moses is called by God to be the deliverer and goes to Pharoah to tell him to let the slaves go. Of course Pharoah saw this as preposterous considering they had an army, owned and ruled the city, lived a lavish lifestyle and owned all the slaves. So from there point of view, who was this "God" that Moses worshipped.
At this point in the movie, things start to get crazy. Pharoah dies and Rameses becomes the big chief on the throne. I always contemplate, what if I was one of the Egyptian guards? It would be like this..."Ok, check this out Rameses, you have an army and complete power and this guy has a stick. You threw snakes at him and his stick turned into a snake and ate your snakes. I haven't had a drink of water in forever because its all blood now. Frogs, gnats, and locust have eaten everything but your wife's eyebrows. We all have boils all over us and its hailing fire. And oh yeah, by the way, its been so dark for 3 days that I can't see my hand in front of my face. Seriously, I realize that your logic has been altered since you went on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and they told you that a long pony tail on one side of your head would be a strong look for you and your son. But you keep talking to that black statue with a bird's head on it. What has he done so far? Stand there and look stupid while the God that Moses worships kicks your ass? I think so. Therefore, here is my sword and my armor. I am putting on one of those potato sack robes and I am going with Moses because his God is God!" The story would be very different if I lived back them.
But as the movie moves forward from all of that, Rameses' brain gets smaller. Moses TELLS HIM, "the next plague brought onto Egypt will come from your mouth". But super, duper smart Rameses says, "Oh yeah, anymore plagues brought on to us, and I'll kill the first born of every Hebrew family". This is my part again "Hey Pharoah, are you trying to be stupid? Yeah, remember me? I was in your army last week but I wised up pretty quick. You sure you don't want to take that back?" And Rameses says "Nope, I am super smart". What happens? A mean, green fog of death floats through Egypt and kills all of the first born of Egyptian families. THEN, he lets the slaves go. "Well, way to go Pharoah! See, it didn't really take that much to convince you!?"
Next thing you know, the city is cleared out. They were all gone. What was Rameses doing? Worshipping the bird head man to bring his son back to life. At this point I'm thinking "Really?, that's your plan?". Of course his beautiful wife who loved him so comes in, mocks him, and DARES him to chase the slaves down and kill Moses. You would think at this point he would say, "Nefertari, why don't you shut that windsock that keeps flapping in the wind before I go postal." But no, he says, "Oh yeah, I'll chase Moses down and bring his blood back on my sword!" Did the burning bush cause him to reconsider? Nope. Did it cross his mind that it might not be a real good idea to send his entire army into the sea that God divided for the slaves to cross through? Nope.
So, after watching his army destroyed by the sea and the slaves shooting off fireworks on the other side, Pharoah goes home with his gimpy horse. And what does
his sweet wife ask? "Where is the blood of Moses?" Once again, if I could be in this scene, this would be my response..."Ummmm, Nefi, check this out....in case you didn't notice, you just suffered through 10 plagues. Your little boy is deceased. All the slaves have hit the trail, and just to make you aware of what is actually going on, Rameses left here a few days ago with 10,000 soldiers. Unless I have severe cataracts, it appears that he has come home with just his horse and one of Willie Nelson's braids hanging off the side of his head. Does it appear to you that he rode back in with a posture of victory, or of a whooped dog? If he has the blood of Moses on his sword, he found one of his worn out band-aids from that long desert walk and he rubbed the blood on his sword. Moses asked God to divide the ocean, walked through, then walked up the mountain to talk to God. So, you and "silly hair" can go over there and talk to birdman."
But the stupidity does not end there of course. After being in slavery for hundreds of years, then freed, then seeing the burning bush protect them, then walking through the middle of a divided sea, and finally reaching the other side, the people were becoming restless. I have to slap myself to understand this. So Moses goes up the mountain to directly talk to God and be given the 10 Commandments. But guess what, Nathan convinces the people that they need a gold bull to worship. At this point I am saying "What in the wide world of sports is going on?" So then its an all out party. That is until Moses walks back down the mountain with the commandments. My character would now be yelling "I told ya'll he was going to be one angry Hebrew!" So, Moses throws the commandments at them and a ruckous ensues killing many of the people who had turned to sin.
But Moses finally is thinning them out by the end and they are walking like a normal group toward the promise land. But Moses doesn't make it. It is time for him to ride the golden escalator. He got the group there, and then it is up to them. This is why I love this movie.
For most people, you have parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches etc. that make an
effort to guide you and give you good advice. Now I know some adults are not good role models and actually are harmful to children. However, many of us do have people around us to give good advice. Somewhere along the line, we all have at least one person that reaches out to us and attempts to help us follow the right path through life. But just like the end of the "10 Commandments", someone can lead you to the promise land and show you where its at, but the decision is up to you from that point on as to what kind of life you decide to lead.
Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the the "10 Commandments".