Israel messed up. God was furious. He wanted to incinerate them.
‘I’ll make a great nation out of you, Moses.’
“Why, God, would you lose your temper with your people?” Moses queried.
“Why, you brought them out of Egypt in a tremendous demonstration of power and strength.”
“Why let the Egyptians say, ‘He had it in for them—he brought them out so he could kill them in the mountains, wipe them right off the face of the Earth.’”
Moses only asked questions. God didn’t seem to have answers.
Moses continued, “Think twice about bringing evil against your people! Think of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants to whom you gave your word, telling them ‘I will give you many children, as many as the stars in the sky, and I’ll give this land to your children as their land forever.’”
That’s an adroit negotiator right there!
Sodom and Gomorah’s time was up. God was going to destroy them. But He couldn’t keep it to Himself, He told Abraham. Sometimes even God needed someone to just share His sacred thoughts with. But I digressed.
Abraham’s first response, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? Trick question.
“What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents?”
“I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”
Did you see it? Abraham was only asking questions.
And God fell for it. God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”
And Abraham continued in that manner and took the number from 50 to 10. At the end only Lot and his family was rescued.
Mary, the mother of Jesus employed a different tactic when the wine finished and he wanted Jesus to do something about. At first Jesus snapped. Then Mary went ahead and told the disciples, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” She skillfully implied He was going to give them instructions. And did Jesus do. Yes He did. It’s like not having decided to go out for a function with my wife, and she says, “Dear, I’m waiting for you downstairs when you are done.’ Did I tell you I wanted to go? Did Jesus say He was going to tell the disciples anything?
Cain’s style was upfront.
“My punishment is too much. I can’t take it! You’ve thrown me off the land and I can never again face you. I’m a homeless wanderer on Earth and whoever finds me will kill me.”
More like, ‘God, this is no punishment! Just tell me You want to kill me!’ He told Him straight up, I can’t take it!
And did God reduce his punishment? He did. He had to put a mark on him so that no one would kill him.
When Jesus and his disciples sailed to Gadarenes and he saw the man who had been demon possessed, Legion, He commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him.
‘They (the demons) begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit. A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged Jesus to order them into the pigs. He gave the order.’
Demons begged Jesus! As in demons, unclean spirits, begged Jesus and He granted their request!
Come on! You have a better standing!
No wonder He says, “Come, let us reason together…”
Don’t just fold your hands and say et sera sera, whatever will be will be. Negotiate. Even if what you did is deserving of death, still negotiate.
Cain had just killed his brother. He was deserving of death but he opened his mouth and negotiated.
Don’t sit there and lamenting and complaining of your lot. Start talking. Start asking God questions. Use Abraham and Moses style, ask God questions. Tell Him what is at stake if He doesn’t help you. Tell Him what He stands to lose if your situation remains the same. If that doesn’t work, switch to Mary’s approach. Bring your faith game on. He may not have committed to do it, get Him on board all the same. And if that still doesn’t cut it, Cain Him in. Tell Him straight up, you don’t want it and ask that He intervenes. Come on, the demons begged Jesus and he obliged them, you are better than that!
A closed mouth is a closed destiny. Start talking. Start talking NOW!
It is not always about the lot meted out to you, it is about how good you are at the negotiation table. You can determine or decide what. Just make sure you do not sit there and accept the status quo. Don’t just sit there! Negotiate! You have a mouth, use it!
You can review that inopportune verdict.
You can revisit that unfavorable decision.
That discommodious appointment can be adjusted.
Push a little harder. Fight a little better. And you will win a great deal more.
Don’t just sit there! Negotiate!
Your week is blessed!
Gen 4:13-15; Luke 8:31-32