Don’t make deals


Have you ever made a deal with God? It sounds funny to even say it. Mainly because I don’t think God is in the “deal” making business. He’s God! Why would he need to wheel and deal? He’s all-knowing! Especially when it comes to his children. But I know people do it all the time. If you’ll work this out for me God….then I’ll do _________! The funny thing is, most of the time this deal isn’t upheld by the person vowing it before the Lord. They get out of hot water and move on to the next fun thing in their life.

In Judges 11, Jephthah the Gileadite made a deal with God. He was foolish and desperate enough to make a vow so rash that it cost him something very valuable. His only child! He wanted victory over the Ammonites and bartering with God for the win was a crazy idea. He then had to live with his decision….or did he? Instead of sacrificing his daughter, he could have sought God’s forgiveness for the foolish vow. But as we see, he is too caught up in his legalistic decision and goes through with it. How sad!

Jephthah believed his deal was a covenant with God. His daughter did too. She submitted obediently to him and only asked for the freedom to go with her friends to weep never being able to marry. More sadness. As a parent, how guilty would you feel over this? Over the top, I bet. I can’t even wrap my brain around it. It’s insane! But this was Jephthah’s reality. Foolish reality.

Which leads me to something….just because we have God’s spirit doesn’t mean we won’t overreact or do something rash. We are flesh and blood humans. We goof up! We think we know what’s best and sometimes we even do it out of what we think is a holy decision. I have made my share of mistakes. When I look back, I see the foolishness of my choices and I’m glad for God’s grace and mercy. I’ve learned not to make deals….especially ones that I don’t really want to keep.

God doesn’t need a deal with me. He only requires my obedience. If I’m trying to convince Him to do something for me, that may not be what I need anyway. I’d rather let Him do His work in my life and stay within the moral boundaries He has in place for me. Aferall, I trust Him….don’t you? He is my deliverer!

“I love you O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” Psalm 18:1-2

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