Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.’” vs. 32Genesis 18:23-32
The men around the fires must have chuckled at the sheer effrontery of Abraham as the old story was told, retold, and then remembered. He had dared to bargain with God to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah–and he had been successful. Of course it hadn’t made any difference. Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed anyway but Abraham had made a name for himself. Some folks still try the bargaining route in dealing with God. When they’re facing some sort of crisis and lives hang in the balance, their last resort is to make a deal with God. They reason that if the right terms can be struck God will come around to their point of view, and they’ll get their way. The bargaining is understandable, most all of us do it, and it obviously has a long history among religious people. The problem is that this isn’t who God is, and it most certainly isn’t how God operates. Answered prayers are rooted in the mystery of who God is, but don’t happen because we’ve convinced God to be merciful. God is by nature gracious and merciful, and no matter what happens in our lives, God will be present with strength and support. We’ll be sustained in our weariness and have our joy restored. It happens again and again–and that’s how God works in our world!
Thought for the Day: When have I bargained with God?