Jephthah In Judges: Why You Cannot Bribe God!
Posted by Job on May 12, 2008
Have you ever tried to bargain with God? Negotiate with Him? Have you ever made your service to Him conditional? Let me give you an example: have you ever prayed to God and told Him: “Lord, if you give me this I will do that for you”? “Lord, if you get me out of this situation, I will serve you for the rest of my life?”
Such tactics are commonly practiced in Christianity, and reinforced not only by the sermons and devotionals of so many preachers but even in depictions of Christians in the popular culture i.e. media, literature, etc. As a result, Christians are unaware that this has no resemblance whatsoever to Biblical Christianity. Instead, the concept of bribing God with oaths, promises, sacrifices, tithes, works, service, etc. was imported into Christianity from paganism. The few examples of where anything like this was done by servants of God was in cases where the person making the request had not actively been serving God and for that reason had little knowledge of the true nature of God. Such examples include Moses at the burning bush, Gideon’s demanding that the angel demonstrate to him that God had legitimately called him, Samuel’s sacrifice before a battle rather than waiting on Samuel, and Jephthah’s oath. The behavior of these men before – and in the cases of Gideon, Samuel and Jephthah after – being used by God to fight battles demonstrates that their dealmaking ways before the God of heaven should not be our model for Christian practice and service.
The principle that we can treat God as a corrupt mafia boss or politician that we can bribe or some equal that we can barter with is integral to the prosperity doctrine, the Word of Faith, and much of the way that Christianity, especially charismatic and Roman Catholic Christianity, is practiced in general: doctrines and attitudes that take the God of Heaven as some pagan genie in a lamp. I referenced paganism because the document below makes it clear that treating deities in this manner is part of pagan religious systems, and the children of Israel began to emulate this practice by way of viewing the pagan people around them that God warned to drive out. As a result, they forgot about the true nature of the true God and began treating and serving God as if He were Baal. So though they knew the Name of God and called upon His Name and God would answer because they were His people through His covenant with Abraham, they did not personally know God, because their relationship with Him was not after the way God had revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, etc. Instead, they were trying to relate to God the same way that people in false religions attempt to relate to their false deities. That is a major danger with syncretism (i.e. Yahweh yoga) and a major problem with false Christian doctrines and systems (i.e. Roman Catholicism, a great deal of charismatic Christianity especially the Word of Faith and prosperity doctrines).
People, this document also demonstrates that not everyone who works miracles and does mighty acts in the Name of Jesus Christ is a called servant of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said so about such people Himself in Matthew 21:31-46! So, supporters of the Benny Hinn Oral Roberts Kenneth Hagin Kenneth Copeland – style preachers, take note!