People have the wrong idea about who G works with, I think. At least the Hebrew G. We imagine the people G uses are like our pastor or priest, or maybe like the sweater-wearing goof from The Simpsons. You know, people who are pious and worthy, ready to pay an extra hundred bucks to the government rather than cheat on their taxes.
I was reading the Hebrew scriptures today – Genesis – about Jacob, Esau, Leah and Rebekah, and Laban. Jacob, along with his two wives and their servants are the progenitors of the Jewish people. Their twelve sons became the namesakes for the twelve tribes.
If you haven’t read their stories, get yourself a Bible. Get a modern reading version so you can hear the stories and not get lost in the language. Man, let me tell you, these are some messed up folks. They lie, they steal, they connive, they rape – if they lived in your neighborhood, you’d be calling the cops every Saturday morning after payday on Friday night. These are the kind of people who take care of their own. You? They would take care of you, too, if they didn’t like you. Maybe with a hundred pounds of camel poop dumped in your driveway and them laughing in the street, daring you to blame them when you go to work.
I can’t help but compare this to the Christian New Testament. There, G and Jesus work with people who appear to be generally upright. It’s hard for me to imagine Jesus sitting with Jacob, all cozy, knowing all the time that his wife stole her father’s idols and stuffed them in her suitcase. Jacob shouts that whoever stole the idols should be killed. When Rebekah’s father comes to search through her things, she feigns to be on her period and can’t rise off the saddle. It’s a hoot. It proves the novelist’s trope that there’s no new story under the sun.
As far as humans go, none of this is surprising. These are the things men and women do.
It’s an odd tale, but a good read that will turn some cherished ideas on their head. It makes me want to read Torah interpretations more, instead of Christian. To get the story from Jacob’s nephews and nieces. From the family, you know.
Odd as it is, I think truthful people should take solace in these stories. You don’t have to fix yourself and then go to G. He already knows what a low bar you tread over. If the Hebrew Scriptures tell us anything, it’s that G takes you as you are. Lying, cheating, and stealing.