We have all done it, you know.... Try to bargain with God. I have done it more than my fair share of times."Oh God, if you will just let this hangover/trouble go away then I will never drink again." "God if you would please just see fit to help me pass this test that I didn't study for because I was too busy watching tv/talking on the phone, I will be a model student from now on...I will even get straight A's, God"
I really could go on, but you get the idea. When I think of God, I think Almighty, Powerful, In Control...... not wheelin' and dealin'. In fact, I sort of wonder how insulting it must be to God when we try to buy him off. Like he was an unruly 2 year old that we are trying to bribe into eating their vegetables.
I was reading Judges this morning and was completely disgusted by the deal that Jephthah offered God. He promised to sacrifice the first thing that walked out of his house to greet him when he got home if God would give him victory over the Ammonites. We already know this isn't going to end well, it isn't like his pack of cigarettes, or cinamax, facebook or something else we readily think of when people are giving things up for God- those things aren't going to get up and walk out of his house. And I do not think that at that time they have their pet beagles in the house with them. So we pretty much know this is going to be a person in his house... maybe he hoped it would be a servant.. maybe he knew it would be someone he cared about like his wife. Turns out God did give him victory over the Ammonites, so when Jephthah went home and it was time to pay up his beloved daughter, his only child, walked out to meet him.
This is where things get a little gray for me, I mean it isn't like God offered him the deal, God wasn't asking for the sacrifice of his only child, and God certainly could have made sure that the town felon would exit the house as Jephthah came home instead of his child. But I have to wonder if just maybe this is meant to show us just how much we offend God when we try to buy His favor.
Angie Smith is a homeschooling WAHM of 5 kids. She gave her life to Christ in OCT 2008 and has been active in ministry since, serving as Worship leader, secretary, teacher and occasional floor mopper at her church. She loves Jesus and is inspired to share her stories of believing, worshiping and leading. Visit Angie on the web at http://thoughts4theroad.com