“Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.’ But Moses said, ‘That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?'” (Exodus 8:25&26 NIV84)
The plagues were beginning to take their toll on Pharaoh and his people. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to suffer through the plagues knowing that the Hebrew people were exempt. As a good politician, Pharaoh chose not to fully concede, but now offered some compromises to Moses and the Israelites. The problem was, he was in no place to negotiate. He was trying to deal with Moses’ God as he would with Moses, from his own position of power. But Pharaoh and Moses’ God weren’t two equals where a compromise might be appropriate. Pharaoh, through his not-so-well-thought-out policies that caused the Israelites much suffering and pain, was now going nose-to-nose with Almighty God. You can’t negotiate with God. Why? Well, because He’s God. We are not His equal. With Him, there is no room to negotiate.
But before we give Pharaoh too hard a time, we might want to look in the mirror to see whether we aren’t guilty of some similar negotiating. Even as Christians, we find ourselves wanting to hold onto control of parts of our lives that God has dominion over. We tend to negotiate with Him. We tell Him He can have this and this but not this. We tell Him that He can have a certain part of our lives as long as a certain outcome is achieved. These are all examples of our sinful nature creeping back into places it doesn’t belong.
We need to let God be God. We need to let the Creator be just that in our lives, because we are his creation. We need to know that we are not His equal. He is sovereign, and we are not. Let’s stop negotiating compromises between our will and His, and let’s work at uniting our wills with His.