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Forty-nine Days and Counting

 Earth date: September 14, 2020

One of my favorite movie moments was in History of the World, Part 1 where Mel Brooks playing Moses comes down Mount Sinai carrying three stone tablets. “The Lord Jehovah,” he says loudly for all to hear, “has given us these fifteen.” He accidentally drops one of the tablets onto the rocks, smashing it to pieces. He looks at the mess at his feet. “Oye. Ten,” he yells, “ten commandments for all to obey.”

I was in my thirties when I first saw this movie and this slapstick scene caught me so off guard that I burst out laughing and crying at the same time that I forget whatever scene came after.  

In the years since, I have wondered what if the Lord HAD intended for there to be fifteen Commandments instead of ten, but only ten survived to be mentioned in the Exodus and Deuteronomy.  

The first four Commandments honor and respect the Lord God, and the other six honor and respect the people and community around us, so maybe the last five were intended for us to reach out beyond our selfishness, and were meant to honor and respect the world around us.  Maybe He would have instructed us to be good stewards of the flora, fauna, and resources He gifted us? Surely, we are not here to devour everything for personal use and disregard the rest of God’s creation?  

Mel Brooks said that the Moses skit was something he added on the spur of the moment, but I personally think it is the best episode in the whole movie. It makes me think that God set the template with the first ten Commandments, and we can deduce if there were another five, they would honor and respect the natural world around us. It serves us and we should take care of it.


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