Let’s Make a Deal

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”

3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4 If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5 They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. 6 They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.

7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”

8 Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”

9 Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”

10 Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil. 11 No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.

12 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.” Exodus 10:1-12

At this point, I think Pharaoh knows he’s been defeated, but he’s in a state of denial about it. He wants to let the Hebrews go, but he wants to let them go on his terms. In this passage he wanted only the men to go.

If the hail didn’t destroy all living creatures and plants, for certain these locusts would. What is it, though, about pride that makes people refuse to admit they’ve done anything wrong? He was so close to being free from all the plagues, but he refused to give in to God’s demands.

We live life according to God’s terms. We can try to argue, persuade, cajole, and negotiate with God, but in the end we will lose.

We can’t go to God with conditions as if we’re that old game show host Monty Hall. We in effect say, “If you do this, then I’ll do that.” Well, we can certainly try, but it won’t do us any good.

When God says something’s wrong, it’s wrong no matter how we try to justify it. The Lord wanted Pharaoh to let His people go, all of them. It wasn’t a suggestion. Pharaoh tried to bargain. The Lord said what he’d do if Pharaoh didn’t give in.

Are you trying to bargain with God about something? Are you trying to get Him to do something in exchange for something you’d do for Him. When it’s put in those terms, it’s laughable, and yet we still try.

Give it all over to Him. No bargains, no negotiations, no cajoling.

Respect and honor Him for the God He is.

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