The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

God Squad Review XXXIX

April 14, 2003 Comments Off

The Squad this week gives biblical advice to a grieving pet owner, “E,” whose cat just died from cancer. “E” feels “a little guilty mourning an animal when so many people are suffering greater losses.” To illustrate the importance of loving animals, the Squad notes that “Moses proved himself a good shepherd of people by first being a good shepherd for his father-in-law, Jethro.”

Let’s overlook, for now, that Moses did not keep sheep as pets, and that sheep rarely fared well in the Bible when a burnt offering was called for. Instead, let’s focus on how Moses became a shepherd in the first place. First, he murdered an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and hid the body in the sand (Exodus 2:11-12). The next day, he scolded two Hebrews for fighting, but got spooked when one of them asked him, “[a]re you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Realizing the murder was discovered and that the Pharaoh is now trying to kill him, he fled to Midian (Exodus 2:14-15).

There, he came to the rescue of the seven daughters of Jethro (the Priest of Midian), who had been chased away from a well by some shepherds while trying to get water for their father’s sheep. As a reward for watering the flock, Jethro gave Moses one of his daughters in marriage (Exodus 16-21). Later, while tending to his father-in-law’s flock, Moses was confronted by God (in the form of a burning bush) and agreed to give up shepherding to help kill and plunder the Egyptians (Exodus 3).

This story hardly supports the Squad’s premise that caring for animals leads to caring for people. The most it shows is that a fugitive murderer can get a concubine and a few more killing gigs if he tends to a flock owned by the right man.

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