“If you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin (if you don’t do it). But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.” - Deuteronomy 23:21


In the first century, people began viewing God as someone they could bargain with.  So they would say, ‘How about this, God? If I do this, then you’ll do this.’  And today, we still say, ‘God, if you’ll get me that, I’ll do this.’  ‘God if you get me this job, I’ll do that.’ Well, I’m sorry to tell you that it just doesn’t work that way.

What kind of God would do that, anyway?  What if you and I were both bargaining God for the same thing and you had more of whatever the bargaining chips were than I did?  I would lose.  And how consistent of a God would that be if you could bargain with Him? Man, that’s an emotional, wishy-washy, inconsistent God.  That’s a God who is uncertain about the future, who may not even be in control of it.

No, we have a God who – if you’ve ever had a kid grab onto your ankle and you end up dragging him across the floor – appreciates that kind of persistence, where you reach and hang on to Him and say, “God, I need an answer. I need your help.”  Not a God to whom you say, “God, if you’ll give me an answer, I’ll do this or do that.”  We have a God who simply wants that kind of communication with us, wants our dependence on Him. We have a God you can beg and ultimately – as we beg and we plead our case with Him – come to rest when we finally submit to His plan.

It’s so wonderful we don’t have a God you can bargain with.  Be thankful we have a God who is strong and consistent and sees into the future. A God who is in charge of the future and has plans for us that are great and wonderful and best for His glory.  So, we can beg and plead with Him, but ultimately, when we submit to His plan for our lives, we know He’s giving us His best.


Taken from a sermon by Thomas Nelson, Teaching Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church