Kam: So what happened with Abraham and Sarah’s kids being stuck in slavery and the jerk party.
Narrator: Well, the rich Egyptian rich people really liked slavery. Forcing people to work for free so they don't have to really fit their life style. Slavery meant they would have more stuff and money. Which let them party a lot.
Kam: That sucks for the other people. What about the slave’s parties? By maximizing their own party-time, Pharoh and the rich peops stopped others from partying. That’s not an efficient way to maximize partying.
Narrator: Pharaoh and his buds did not care about other people’s parties.
Kam: Well, seems like they weren’t all that committed partiers then.
Narrator: I guess they weren’t. But they were committed to slavery. They liked that a lot.
Exodus 1:8-11 then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.“Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
Pharaoh: This slavery thing is ingenious. I can’t believe we didn’t think of it earlier. Other people do the work for us, so we can do what we want all the time.
Egyptian Rich People: Slavery is the best. You don’t even have to give them breaks. Look at these awesome cities they built for us. They work, we party. Best system ever.
Pharaoh: I know, right?
Narrator: Abraham and Sarah’s kids, or the Hebrews, were not big fans of slavery. They wondered about God’s plan to party with them in a special place of their own.
Hebrews: Hey God. This slavery stuff is really lame. We work a lot, building stuff. It’s pretty cool stuff too. We did a good job on these cities. They’re solid. But we don’t get paid, and the cities aren’t for us. They’re for the Egyptians and their stupid king: Pharaoh. That guy is a jerk.
Narrator: Pharaoh was a jerk. He was also creepy. He watched the Hebrews a lot. Seeing that there were a lot of them, they were pretty ripped, and they weren’t fans of the slavery thing, Pharaoh was worried they may do something crazy. Like stop working. Or get violent. Both of which would interrupt pharaoh’s partying. Pharaoh decided to double down on his jerk strategy.
Pharaoh: Hey Egyptian rich people: these Israelites could be a real big problem for us. If they stop working, we might have to work, and that means less partying. I propose we treat them worse. I’m talking: no coffee breaks, retirement or vacation. And lots of whipping.
Egyptian Rich People: Well, we were already treating them pretty bad. But well try and be bigger jerks.
Narrator: Pharaoh had one more idea. His jerkiest idea yet. Just thinking it gave him that sweet, megalomaniac-feeling that he enjoyed.
Kam: Did his heart shrink three sizes. Is Pharaoh story basically the reverse Grinch?
Narrator: I guess there some parallels between the Who’s in Whoville and the Hebrews. Pharaoh wasn’t a fan of the Hebrew’s observing any holidays. But I don’t think there’s much crossover besides that. Anywho, Pharoah did like being a jerk, and when he got his jerkiest idea yet he called for the nurse in charge of delivering Hebrew babies: Puah.
Pharaoh: Hey Pooooo. Come here. I want to talk to you.
Puah: My name is Pu-AH!
Pharaoh: Whatever. I don’t care. So Poo, I want you to do something for me.
Puah: Well, seeing as I am your slave, I guess kind of have to.
Pharaoh: Right, slavery…. Such a rad idea. Anywho. I need you to do me a solid: when them Hebrew women have a kid, if it’s a girl—let her live, but if it’s a boy—kill him.
Puah: You’re an evil man.
Pharaoh: And you’re a slave. So do what I tell you to do, and don’t give me any lip.
Kam: Oh, that’s much worse than stealing Christmas.
Narrator: Yeah. It’s tough top killing babies. That’s basically as evil as it gets. Puah was afraid of Pharaoh, but she knew God was a bigger deal. So she didn’t kill the Hebrew boys. She told Pharaoh the Hebrew women popped babies out too fast, so when she got there the kid was already born. Pharaoh decided on a new strategy.
Pharaoh: My fellow rich people, listen to me. The Hebrews are having too many kids. We need to stop them.
Egyptian Rich People: Well, we can’t really stop them from having kids.
Pharaoh: Of course not. I’m not crazy. I just want you to throw the boys into the river. There are crocodiles in there.
Egyptian Rich People: Ok.
Narrator: So the Egyptian Rich People starting throwing babies in the river. This sucked. One Hebrew mom, decided to beat them to the punch. She put her baby in a basket. And put the little dude in the river. She sent her daughter to watch the basket from the shore. Pharaoh’s daughter spotted the basket.
Pharaoh’s daughter: Is that a baby in the river. Babies don’t go there. Hey you, random girl who happens to be watching from the reeds!
Moses’ sister: Me?
Pharaoh’s daughter: Yeah, go get a Hebrew woman to nurse that baby for me.
Moses’ sister: Oki Doki.
Narrator: So the girl went and got the baby’s mom.
Kam: That worked out well.
Narrator: Yup. They named the little dude Moses.
Exodus 2:23—25 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
Narrator: When Moses was older, he was pretty angry and angst-y, and he killed an Egyptian dude for beating-up a Hebrew guy. So he had to run away to the desert and became a shepherd. Meanwhile the Hebrews groaned a lot because slavery sucks. Their groanings went up to God.
Hebrews: Ughhh. Slavery is soooooo lame.
Son: What’s all that racket? I can barely hear myself think.
Spirit: It’s the Hebrews. They’re groaning again what with all the slavery.
Son: That Pharaoh guy is such a jerk.
Father: Hey, isn’t it time we did something about that.
Son: Yeah, I think we had something in our calendar about that. Where’s that guy we were going to use?
Father: He’s in the desert still. We should go talk to him.
Kam: I think God likes to talk to people in deserts
Narrator: I think you’re right. Might be something to do with the minimalist scenery. So God went to talk to Moses, who was with his sheep. God went to a special place. His favorite bush. He made it burst into flames, but the flames didn’t consume it.
Kam: Nice! Flashy.
Narrator: God likes to make an impression on occasion.
God (all three): MOSES!
Moses: Hello. I am here.
Son: Yes. We know. We see you.
Spirit: Take your shoes off. This is a special place.
Moses: I was going to say something. It’s really nice here. I like the burning motif.
Father: Let us introduce ourselves. We’re God.
Son: You may have heard of us from the Jacob Story.
Spirit: Or Abraham and Isaac. That was us too.
Father: The one and only.
Son: We’re very concerned with this slavery thing. You see we have a party planned, and Pharaoh isn’t cooperating, he’s not letting people off work for the party.
Spirit: All work and no party make Israel a dull nation.
Father: And there’s the suffering. Things really suck for the Hebrews.
Father: We’ve got a special place for them, a perfect place to party with us. We’re going to bring them out of Egypt to that place.
Spirit: And from that place the party will spread all around. It’s going to be sweet.
Moses: Ok. Why are you telling me all this? I’m just a shepherd. I take care of sheep. I could move some sheep to that place if you want.
Son: Oh, sorry, we forgot to tell you. You’re gonna go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let our people go.
Spirit: Our people is our pet name for the Hebrews.
Father: It’s adorbs. We know.
Moses: I’m pretty sure Pharaoh will just kill me. He already hates me. He kills people for lots of stuff. I’m pretty sure bossing him around is a kill-able offense. And I’m pretty sure if someone he hates bosses him around, he’ll be even more set on the killing.
Father: Oh, don’t worry about that. We’ll be there.
Moses: Will he see you?
Son: Well, no. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ll be there.
Moses: Why would anyone listen to me?
Spirit: Tell them we sent you. We’re kind of a big deal.
Son: You know we’re THE God.
Father: Tell them that “I AM that I AM” sent you. That’s our name.
Moses: That’s a weird name.
Spirit: You’re weird! Our name is awesome!
Father: You can call us Yahweh though. Or just God. Or The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if brevity isn’t you’re thing.
Son: After you’re done. Come here with the Hebrews. We’ll have a little party on this mountain to get ready for the big one.
Spirit: Pharaoh will be angry. He is a jerk. So we’ll have to be extra firm with him and the Egyptians. We’re not big fans of being extra firm; but some jerks don’t respond to anything else.
Father: Just so you don’t forget. What are the instructions you just heard.
Moses: I go back to Egypt. Tell Pharaoh that you say “Let my people go”, meaning the Hebrews. I tell Pharaoh and the Hebrews that “I AM that I AM” sent me. After Pharaoh lets us go, we come back here for a party.
Father: Yep. Good memory! Now go.
Spirit and Son: See you soon. Tell my people we say hi!
Narrator: So Moses went back to Egypt. He took his brother Aaron, because Aaron could talk good. They went to Pharaoh’s house.
Exodus 5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”
Aaron: We humbly request an audience with the esteemed Pharaoh of Egypt to discuss the release of the Hebrew people so-as-to make possible a brief excursion to the wilds of this most magnificent land to observe a special religious ceremony with our God.
Moses (whispering): Nice.
Pharaoh: Who is this “God” fella. I’m freaking Pharaoh. As in THE Pharaoh. I am the big deal. And I have plenty of gods myself, fancy ones with gold beaks, and jackal heads. Lots of and lots of gods. Why should I care about the Hebrew god. The Hebrews are lazy. I’m not giving them a break. You know what, since you asked so nicely, I’m going to make them make bricks without straw.
Narrator: The Hebrews over heard this. They were not happy.
Hebrews: MOSES! Shut-up! You’re making it worse.
Kam: Wait, there are straws in bricks?
Narrator: Well, not drink straws. Straw like grass.
Kam: There’s grass in bricks?
Narrator: Just listen to the story! Then Moses went away to talk to God.
Moses: God. This isn’t going well.
Father: What did we tell you to do?
Moses: Go to Pharaoh. Tell him to let your people go. After we go, we go to that mountain with the burning bush.
Father: Good. What was it you were saying?
Moses: Well, things aren’t going well. I did what you said. Now Pharaoh and the Hebrews hate me.
Son: Remember what we said about the firmness. Go back, tell Pharaoh to let Our People go. When he doesn’t we’ll send a plague of firmness. If he still doesn’t let Our People go, we’ll send another plague of firmness. Repeat the process. It should take ten plagues.
Spirit: See you soon. Tell my people we say hi!
Narrator: So Moses and Aaron went back to Pharaoh.
Aaron: The honorable Moses and myself on behalf of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob hereby inform the irascible and repugnant Pharaoh of Egypt that he must let the Hebrew people go post-haste lest the Lord Almighty send a plague of firmness on the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh: Y’all are crazy. Get out of here.
Narrator: So God turned water into blood. Super creepy style. Then he started chucking frogs at Egypt. Frogs and Frogs and Frogs. Pharaoh finally relented, and called for Moses.
Pharaoh: Moses. Call your God and tell him to ease off the freaking frogs. Seriously, who throws frogs? It’s gross. I’ll let your people go. Is that good enough for you?
Moses: Alright. I’ll go tell God.
Narrator: So Moses told God. God stopped the frogs. Pharaoh was extra angry because he had a god who was supposed to protect him from this type of thing.
Kam: Wait. He had a god to protect him from raining frogs.
Narrator: He had lots of gods. After the frogs stopped Pharaoh decided not to let the Hebrews go. So Moses and Aaron started the process again. This time God sent gnats. And things repeated like before. The gnats were followed by flies. Than the livestock died. Then there was hail, then boils (nasty giant painful puss-filled pimples). Then hail. Then locusts. Then darkness. People were getting tired of all the plagues.
Egyptian Rich People: Pharaoh, this sucks. This Hebrew God is a pain in the butt. I thought we had our own gods to protect us from these type of shenanigans.
Pharaoh: I know. I know. We all thought our gods would have our backs on this. But what do you want me to do. Let the Hebrews go? Who will do our work for us? Listen, we still got a few gods left, I think will be fine if we just stay the course.
Egyptian Rich People: Alright. Sounds good.
Narrator: God called to Moses to talk about the last plague.
Exodus 11:6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
Father: So this next plague is a serious one.
Son: We’re going to kill all the firstborn sons in Egypt.
Spirit: I hate that we have to be so firm; but slavery is a serious thing.
Father: And we’re going to show the Egyptians that their stupid gods that give them permission to keep people as slaves are not going to save them. It’s worshipping lame gods like those that lead to all this freaking oppression that gets in the way of our partying and makes firmness like this necessary. It’s so stupid and lame and wrong and frustrating and. . .
Son: Listen—we made a covenant with your ancestors, and we want to keep that. So you need to tell the Hebrews to take their nicest lambs and sacrifice them. Take the blood from that sacrifice and put it on top your door-frames. Death will not come to the houses that are cover by the blood of the lamb.
Spirit: This is more foreshadowing BTW.
Kam: Right. The whole Jesus thing.
Narrator: Yeah. The Jesus thing is pretty wrapped up in this story. So Moses did what God told him to. And that night God killed the firstborns just like he said. Pharaoh seeing that his gods were not able to protect him, sent for Moses.
Exodus 10:7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
Pharaoh: Alright Moses. Your God wins. Take the Hebrews and get out of here.
Egyptian Rich People: Could you hurry too? We don’t want any more of us to die. Here, take a bunch of our stuff—gold and clothes and whatever—just hurry. Leave. Leave now. Like RIGHT now.
Aaron: We shall make-way post-hast.
Narrator: So the Hebrews left Egypt quickly. And headed out into the desert.
Moses: Hey Aaron. Do you know the way to that special land.
Aaron: I thought you were the one that the good Lord had entrusted with directions.
Moses: Nope. I don’t know the way. I figured God told you, since he didn’t tell me.
Aaron: Well this is quite the conundrum.
Spirit: Guys, don’t worry about it. We know how to get there. We’ll go in-front of you.
Son: You’ll notice us—a big giant pillar of cloud in the day.
Father: And a pillar of fire at a night.
Spirit: Fancy right?
Moses: Very fancy. So we just follow those? Sounds good.
Narrator: So everybody followed the pillars of cloud and fire. Meanwhile back in Egypt.
Egyptian Rich People: This sucks. What were we thinking? Now we don’t have any slaves, and we have to work more, and pay others to work. This is a much less favorable arrangement.
Pharaoh: I clearly was not thinking straight. Lets get some chariots and go get them Hebrews back.
Narrator: So Pharaoh and the Egyptians went to go get the Hebrews, who were camping on the beach.
Spirit: Moses, We’re gonna do something pretty awesome today.
Moses: Rad. Awesome is my favorite.
Father: We’re gonna make it so you can a walk straight through the sea.
Moses: Like on the water?
Son: No, that’s my thing. We’re gonna push the water back and let y’all walk through on dry ground.
Spirit: You just need to stretch your hand out over the water.
Father: Y’all will have to be quick. The Egyptians are coming, they’ve had a change of heart.
Moses: Alright. No going back after this. That'll be nice, a new start!
Narrator: So when the Egyptians came, Moses stretched out his hand and BAM the Hebrews crossed the sea, and then God gave the Egyptians a bath. A bath of death. Miriam, Moses’ sister, wrote a song about it. It goes to the tune Drake’s Hotline Bling:
Miriam (singing): “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.”
Narrator: After the Hebrews crossed they got into a pattern of grumbling, then God would provide what they wanted, then they would grumble about something else.
Kam: Grumble is a fun word.
Narrator: Agreed. The Hebrews had lots to complain about in the desert. But God always got them what they needed and taught them stuff along the way. When they got up to the place with the special burning bush, Moses went up to talk to God.
Exodus 19:18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
Father: Sweet, you made it.
Son: Here are the instructions for partying. There’s lots of details but the main points are 10.
Spirit: The main thing is you need to include us in the party. When you start inviting other gods—like the Egyptians—then the party will get lame.
Father: Those other gods, aren’t really gods—not like us, anyways. But when you invite them in, folks start acting like them, and it leads to all sorts of lame stuff.
Son: Like slavery. You remember how much that sucked, right?
Spirit: Basically the instructions boil down to hang-out with us, trust/love us, make sure to rest (which goes back to trusting us), and don’t be jerk.
Moses: Ok. I don’t think I’m going to remember all this.
God the Son: We wrote it down.
Moses: Right. Smart.
Kam: God made the Hebrews a post-it note of party instructions. Rad.
Narrator: I keep telling you, God’s a very thoughtful person. When Moses came down, the Hebrews had got bored, and made their own god to party with. They were very impatient. They wanted to party more like the Egyptians. They liked the fanciness of a statue and gold. This was essentially the opposite of what God wanted.
Kam: This is not a very good start for them.
Narrator: Yeah. It was a pretty bad start. God decided that before they got to the special place he had in mind for them, it would be best if they became a more patient people—so he made them wander around for 40 years in the desert.
Kam: Patience is a tough one. But they got there eventually right, and then God’s party started and everything worked out perfect.
Narrator: Well, they did get there. God gave them their special place. But the Hebrews continued to struggle with patience, and learning to party the right way with God, and often partied just like the Egyptians used to. But God continued to teach them through all their lameness, because they were his people and his big plan had a big role for them.
Kam: Did God have to throw any more frogs?
Narrator: What? No. Not that I’m aware of. I’m pretty sure he was done throwing frogs. That wasn’t a big part of the story.
Kam: It was my favorite part. At least that storyline is wrapped up. These stories need more conclusions. Wrap things up a little neater, make sure to say THE END. Otherwise they could go on forever.
Narrator: Alright Kam. And God never had to throw frogs ever again the end! Happy?
Kam: Yes. It’s a happy ending for the frogs. I like happy endings!