Has anyone other than me tried to strike up a bargain with God? Surely, I pray I’m notthe only one.
One thing I do not like is nausea followed by regurgitation. (I started to use the word “vomit” or “puke,” but thought they might be too crass.)
I was a teenager playing sandlot softball with my buddies on the church lot, when I was attempting to catch a ball batted to me in the outfield. I also had a big wad of chewing tobacco in my mouth. You guessed it. While backing up and looking up for the ball, I swallowed a mouthful of amber juice. I had not used chewing tobacco before, and was hoping the stories were not true.
Just a few minutes later, we were called inside for our weekly RA (Royal Ambassadors) meeting at the church. Before I got to the meeting room, I had to make a detour to the restroom.
I broke out into a cold sweat that made my knees buckle. I can’t even describe the horrors going on in my stomach. I noticed a mirror in the restroom and for some reason I looked and saw a young teenager as white as number 96 typing paper. I never threw up, but I must have turned every color one can imagine (‘green’ really stands out).
One of my buddies called for me to come to the meeting. I was late. I groaned, “Go away!” Then I talked to God. No, I begged. I prayed the most humble of pleading prayers for Jesus to make me well NOW! I was rolling out the promises to God if He would just take it all away. I eventually recovered but missed the meeting. I can’t remember to this day if I caught the ball. I remember all the rest though.
Another time I was an adult, married with one child. We had bought some fried chicken and brought it home. That night … well here we go again. Let’s make a deal sweat Jesus! I was so sick from regurgitating; I had what we call around here, ‘dry heaves.’ Again, the promises flowed from my mind to God, “Make me well and I’ll serve you forever.” That is one night I thought for sure I would never make it through the night. Did I keep my promises either time? No.
I can think of many other times that I have tried to bargain with God, and if you will be honest, I would say you can think of a few yourselves.
Have you ever tried to bargain with God over a sickness, or a marriage problem, or a test, or a lousy job, or “pick your poison.”
How many have tried to bargain with God over salvation? Most people I have met have been here. We even try to bargain with God over sin. “Yeah, yeah God I know what the Bible says, but does that really apply to today?”
The one thing that mankind cannot seem to get through our thick skulls is, God says what He means and means what He says.
He tells us there is only one way we can be saved from judgment. That one way is through His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
He tells us that if we ask anything in His name, He will do it. (John 14:13-14) I pray we understand that we must ask with what is in agreement with His Word. This is where knowing a few verses or a few Biblical facts don’t help. We must be able to see the whole picture of what God is saying in His Word.
Abraham’s grandson Jacob was a real rascal. He dishonestly obtained his brother Esau’s birthright, then he and his mother Rebecca tricked his father Isaac to give Esau’s blessing to him (Jacob). It took Jacob a long time to grow up, even after attending Uncle Laban’s school of deceit. Before I go off on a tangent, allow me to stick with one subject concerning Jacob at this time. Jacob tried to bargain with God, just as we have many times. So we pick up with Jacob’s story when he is running from Esau, who vowed to kill him.
JACOB RUNNING FROM ESAU, MEETS CHRIST
Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:10-12)
Jacob is a grown man who has just swindled his brother for the second time and is now running for his life. He will never see his mother Rebecca again. He is running from Esau his brother, and then meets God in a dream. He sees Him as a ladder and the ladder is representative of Jesus Christ. Why is the ladder specifically Jesus, the second person of the Godhead? Again, Jesus made it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) God speaks to him in the dream.
GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM AND ISAAC REPEATED TO JACOB
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”(Genesis 28:13-15)
God repeated to Jacob the same promise He made to Abraham and Isaac. It is very detailed.
· The land on which you lie on is yours and your descendants
· Your descendants will be as plentiful as the dust of the earth
· You and your descendants will spread outward in all directions
· You and your descendants will bless all the families of the earth
· God is with him
· God will keep him wherever he goes
· God will bring him back to his land
· God will not leave him until everything promised him is delivered
Don’t you think God is being very specific when speaking to Jacob? Sounds pretty clear to me.
God has made specific promises to all mankind, which of course includes us today.
· We can only be saved through Him
· When He saves us He will keep us
· All die apart from the Rapture
· He is coming back again
· After death is judgment if we are not His sheep
These are just a few examples among many other promises of God. Are we going to continue doing as Jacob? First of all, let’s see what Jacob did after he heard these promises that were given first to his grandfather Abraham, then to his father Isaac and then repeated again to him.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” (Genesis 28:20-22)
Notice carefully what he is really saying.
· “IF” God will be with me
· “IF” God will keep me
· “IF” God will give me food and clothing
· “IF” God will return me to my father’s house safely
· “THEN” the Lord will by my God
· All God gives me I will give a tenth
Wasn’t he listening! Better yet, are we listening! This sounds just like me (and you). “IF you will do this God, “THEN” I’ll do this.” God has given us specific promises. We can play “let’s make a deal” if we like, and try to bargain with Him, but God has already said exactly what He wanted to say and it will not be changed.
Allow me to provide a few other examples.
· God says marriage is sacred. There is no bargaining.
· God says homosexuality is a sin. There is no bargaining.
· God says all sin will result in judgment, unless we come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ in repentance. There is no bargaining.
There are many sins, but only one will send us to the lake of fire for all of eternity, and that sin is rejection of Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
The point of this entire article is, we cannot bargain with God. Most everyone in our society, Christians and non-Christians alike, are consistently trying to make a deal with God, whether they realize it or not.
We have become so corrupt; many in our society would feel right at home in Sodom and Gomorrah. Others would turn and look back as did Lot’s wife when God destroyed those cities. Our society is like an apple, rotten from the skin to the core. We are controlled by politicians, the media and Hollywood, and upheld by corrupt religion.
The few who remain in this country who actually believe God’s Word and accept It, will be more and more hated by those allowing the sins of this world to corrupt their souls.
Are true Christians without sin? Of course not, but our sins are covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our salvation, and we serve Him. We fail Him often, but it grieves our hearts when we do.
However, those who are not His sheep enjoy their rebellion (sins) against a Him. They have thrown off the notion of a Holy and Righteous God and revel in their “independence” of Him, just as King Belshazzar and his court. Judgment by death claimed Belshazzar’s soul that very night and judgment is just as assuredly coming our way.
God does not make deals. We need desperately to get our act together. Just because “everybody’s doing it” doesn’t void what God has said.
God loves mankind and wants to save all who will come to Him in true repentance. He will not turn any away who truly decide to follow Him in faith.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html