Monday, June 8, 2015

An Absolute Dictator, Open to Suggestions

This is how Danny Thomas defined the role of a father. Though it was meant semi-humorously, I appreciated the insight. There is, of course, a balance here between being dictatorial, and suggesting and bargaining. A parent may cajole a child to try a new food with gentle persuasion. But when this child wanders into a heavily trafficked street the parent's warning must be obeyed instantly and without equivocation.

Is this true of our relationship with God? Can we, should we, try to bargain with Him? In my early studies I was surprised at those who did just that. I knew a lady who was childless. She prayed to God, "You have a son. Can't I have one also?" Soon she was pregnant with twin boys. Whether this came about through divine intervention I do not know, but we have Bible examples of just such pleas.

In Genesis, Abraham asks God about sparing Sodom if fifty righteous men are found in it. The fifty is replaced by forty, thirty, twenty and so on, in a most peculiar bargaining session (Genesis 18:24-32).

In Numbers 27:1-7 we have an example of women asking for inheritance rights from God through Moses as mediator. What follows is a modification of the law in their favor. And the LORD spake unto Moses saying, The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their fathers brethren; (Numbers 27:6-7). It pays to ask.

In Ezekiel 4:12 God tells him to prepare food using human dung for baking. Ezekiel objects and God allows him to use animal dung.

There are other examples. Hannah begging for Samuel, for example. But the word is plain upon this point. Ask of God. He is open to your requests.

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