I wonder, have you ever tried to bargain with God? After Greg was struck by lightning, one of the side effects was infertility, and I desperately wanted another child as sibling for Melanie. I tried to bargain with God. If he would give me a child, I would ……..to be honest, I can’t even remember the things I said I would be willing to do, in exchange for what I wanted God to do for me. Nothing availed! I came to the point where I humbly recognized that God was God and I was a mere mortal, and servant, and I should respond to God in the appropriate manner. As if I could bargain with the Lord God Almighty, creator of the universe and everything in it! It was only as I gave up bargaining and was truly his humble servant; that God could work in my life, and transform it.
Pharaoh tried to bargain. In the face of locusts, a most terrible pest for the land, Pharaoh’s advisers want Moses and the Hebrews to go, but he tries to bargain: ‘yes you can go, but only the men!’ With the plague of darkness, which shocked the theological foundation of the Egyptian peoples (Ra was the sun god, so dispersing the sun showed absolute power over all other assumed gods), Pharaoh still wanted to bargain: ‘you can go, you wives and children, but not your livestock!’ The Lord has been waging a theological battle with Pharaoh; to show who is truly Lord over all the earth, including Egypt. No compromise can be entered into. Pharaoh must make an unconditional surrender.
He calls us to make the same unconditional surrender. We can’t bargain with God and we don’t need to. What he has in store for us is far greater than we can imagine.