Summary: God can be negotiated with and he will answer prayer, but it is always in His will. Abraham boldly makes a deal with God.
How many of you remember the game show that used to be on TV called “Let’s make a deal”? I believe it was Monty Hall who would tempt people with what was behind different doors, or he would show them a wad of cash and say you can have the cash or choose what’s behind door number 3.
He would always be trying to offer more than you had already won, but there was always risk involved. Many people think that God is not a deal maker, but that’s far from the truth. He was making deals and covenants with people and Satan since the beginning of humanity.
My way, or the fruit; my way or the flood; my way or hell. “Satan, you can do whatever you want to Job just don’t kill him.” God always gives choices but the difference is that his promises are reliable and there is no risk if we choose what he offers versus what Monty Hall or the world offers.
Today I want to give you what may have been Abraham’s experience as God made deals with him through chapters 15, 17, and 18 of Genesis. Let’s see what it might have been like from Abraham’s perspective as if he were alive to tell the story today.
Not long after I had defeated these kings with the Lord’s help, and received the blessing from this Melchizedek fellow, I began feeling a little worried that at some point they were going to gang up and try to get there stuff back and kick me out the country.
Then, right on cue, God came to me in a vision and said “don’t be scared, for I will protect you and your reward will be great.” Well to be honest I was getting a little tired of these promises and I said, “Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? You haven’t given me any kids so I’m going to have to give all I have to my servant Eliezer. One of my servants will be my heir.”
But God said, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own.” I was thinking, yeah right, do you know how old Sarai and me are? But then God took me outside and showed me the stars and said, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
I don’t know why, but as I marveled at the heavens something inside me made me believe him again.
Then he said, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” But I replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it and keep it?” I was really trying to keep hope alive in spite of what I was seeing and feeling.
So then he told me, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
So what was I gonna do? Well I went and got all these things and killed them. Then I cut each animal down the middle, and as per our custom, laid the halves side by side; everything except the birds. Then I just waited for hours while these pesky vultures kept swooping down to eat the carcasses, but I managed to chase them away.