Ridley Scott’s portrayal of the biblical account of Moses is epic in many ways, (Bale/Edgerton), but it wasn’t very…well, biblical.
That said, there’s one aspect of the film that lingers with me in a positive way: the portrayal of the righteous indignation of Yahweh in the face of His adulterous people.
Many TV programmes (especially comedies) portray marriage as negative, toxic and even disposable. Many adverts drip-feed into our psyches every single day, manoeuvring to normalise that which is profoundly abnormal, longing to lure us into a view of marriage and covenant-keeping that is very sick indeed.
We barely understand covenant at all.
While Scott’s portrayal of Yahweh as a small boy wasn’t ideal, (though it did avoid cliche, and the kid’s acting was superb), there was one moment that very effectively captured the righteous indignation of God, specifically concerning His unfaithful people, Israel.
The golden calf revelry of Exodus 32 exemplifies the extremely dark potential of the human heart for depravity and the capacity that it has to toss away something as beautiful – and privileged – as marriage with Yahweh. And what a demonstration of His delivering affection He’d given them!
‘Waiting’ was the Israelite issue and ‘waiting’ was the Israelite excuse (Moses was just taking far too long to return from Mount Sinai – Exodus 32:1). Worship of demons was preferable to waiting patiently for the Word of God.
Similarly today, the Church have grown restless in waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Rather than living energetically and faithfully and fruitfully around this blessed Hope, we have fashioned man-made things (like Moses’ entrapment in Egyptian thinking and clothing) that are actively opposed to the covenant which Yahweh has made.
God was righteous and indignant as His beloved gave themselves to another cow-like lover; God is also righteous and indignant today as many of His people continue to play the whore.
Indignation is a much-needed quality for the Body of Christ today.
“God is a righteous Judge, yes, a God Who is indignant every day.”Psalm 7:11