MOSES: Lord, I do apologise for bothering you so late in history, but they’ve sent me back with the Commandments. The general view is that they won’t do. You see, people want to worship you and all that, but they want you to keep up with the times.
GOD: Very thoughtful. You say it’s the Commandments that are the problem?
MOSES: Yes, Lord. It’s felt that they need some revision. Take the first one where you demand an exclusive allegiance. People feel this is intolerant and over-doing it. Couldn’t you just be content with Sunday worship?
GOD: Well, Moses, how would you feel if your wife showed you affection on Sundays and ignored you for the other six days of the week?
MOSES: That’s not the same thing.
GOD: Isn’t it? Come now, what relationship can survive on one day’s attention in seven?
MOSES: Perhaps you have a point, Lord. Anyway what about the second Commandment? No graven images. Nothing before you. The general complaint is that you are a bit down on material things. They also say you’re always asking for money for your Church and so on.
GOD: Quite wrong, Moses. Don’t forget I am the author of all material blessings. All I ask for my work is one tenth of a man’s income. If a man can’t give that, he’s put his money before me. His money is then an idol, a graven image, a god. Carry on. What next? Keep moving. And don’t drop those tablets, because I’m not making another set.
MOSES: Well, Lord, how about swearing? What you call ‘taking your name in vain.’
GOD: My commandment stands. Besides, how would you feel if one of your children cursed with your name?
MOSES: Really, Lord, you keep making it so personal.
GOD: But, Moses, it is personal isn’t it?
MOSES: Well, then, Sunday rest and worship. Is it necessary?
GOD: Yes, it is. My people need rest and change, fellowship with each other, and spiritual refreshment. So I set aside a special day for these things.
MOSES: Lord, you have good reasons for everything. I don’t think we quite understood that.
GOD: No, that’s my impression too. Well, let’s hurry on. I’ll put the questions now. You seem to be losing your nerve a bit. What do they feel about honouring father and mother?
MOSES: Well, some of the young object.
GOD: Do ask the young to wait till they have children. What about the sixth Commandment? No killing.
MOSES: The general principle is acceptable. They just want an amendment to cover irresponsible driving which is such fun.
GOD: For whom? The driver or the victim? Number seven now. Adultery?
MOSES: Well, Lord, everyone does it. Sex is pretty much a free for all now. The law seems old fashioned, so people break them.
GOD: No, Moses. They don’t break the laws. The laws break them. Just look around. Very unscientific too. You should know one doesn’t break laws. One just illustrates them. No Moses, I recant not a word. Not on this, or on theft, or false witness or covetousness. My Commandments were given to protect and promote man’s happiness, not restrict it. You see, I love men enough to want the best for them. To ask me to revise my Commandments is to ask me to stop loving. You know I can’t do that.
MOSES: No, Lord. No, you can’t. So what am I to do?
GOD: Go down, Moses, and say that what I have written I have written. And don’t forget – say I love them.
Deuteronomy 5 – the Commandments of God.