Not Up For Negotiation

“Pharaoh callled for Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.’” (Exodus 8:25)

That sounded like a logical compromise. Moses and Aaron had told Pharaoh that God had commanded them to go and worship Him in the wilderness (7:16). Pharaoh was perhaps rightly concerned about losing his slave labor source, but on the other hand, God’s miracles were beginning to weigh heavy upon the land: they had already experienced the plagues of frogs and gnats and flies. So he offered a compromise:

“Go and sacrifice to your God within the land.” That could be seen as a good compromise. Israel could still worship their God; they would just do it in the land of Egypt, instead of leaving to go and do it in the wilderness, where they might flee. Many might have considered it to be a mutually satisfactory solution. And it might have been — had God’s word been up for negotiation!

But it wasn’t. Moses and Aaron were God’s spokesmen, not His negotiators. They were to proclaim His sovereign decree, not “negotiate” what might be acceptable in the sight of those who heard it.

We need to remember that today. When we proclaim the holy standards of God’s word, people will understandably react to it. It exposes their sin, their rebellion, and their lack of obedience to God. And being human, they will tend to harden their necks against it, and to “negotiate” a more palatable compromise with His word.

Our part as His representatives, like Moses and Aaron, is to stand firm on His word. “We are ambassadors for Christ” II Corinthians 5:20 says, not “negotiators” or compromisers of it.  Just as in the days of the Exodus, the word of God is not up for negotiation!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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