February 15, 2021
Exodus 8:25-28
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.”  But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?  We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, as he commands us.”  Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
New International Version (NIV)
How well do you negotiate?  Making deals is part of my heritage, so, I should be better at it.  My Grandfather owned Brooks Trading Post in Wapita, Washington.  My dad dealt in used cars as long as I can remember.   That is how he paid for us to go to college.  He bought a car with a mechanical problem, fixed it and sold it.  He had an expression for people who weren’t serious about buying:  “tire-kickers.”  You know the type.  They say they are interested, walk around and kick the tires but they have no intention of buying anything that day.  So they are wasting your time.

Pharaoh was a tire-kicker.  To this day bargaining is an art-form in parts of the Middle East.  This goes back to Abraham buying the cave and field at Machpelah to bury his beloved Sarah.  “What is that between you and me?” the seller says, a bit disingenuously.  Actually they want to get as much as they can for their product, but they undersell in low tones as the negotiation begins. 

When God spoke through Moses and Aaron to say to Pharaoh, “let my people go,” the Egyptian ruler proposed a series of compromises.  He was hoping to keep his slave labor force in the Hebrews.  So after each successive plague, he would say, “Okay, you can go but . . .”  Consecutively he said, “Sacrifice to the Lord, but stay here;” “Go but do not go very far;”  “Go but you can’t take your livestock;” “Go, but you have to leave your children.”  Each time he bargained, he also pleaded for the removal of the most recent plague.  All the while he had no intention of obeying God and letting the Israelites go. 

What excuses are we making for not obeying God?  To be clear, our negotiating position with God is not one of strength.  We never have any leverage over God.  Best to obey.  We have no time to waste.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.  When you go with God, go all in.  You can’t go with God and stay where you are.  So go big, take your stuff and your family with you.  Otherwise, you are just kicking tires.  Between you and me, once you have decided to follow Jesus, there is no turning back.  
Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for inviting us to go with you.  Forgive our measly excuses and our dragging of feet.  Search our hearts and show us the truth about who we are.  Today, Lord we will follow you.  We are going all in.  So, help us God.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 
Scripture memorization for this week:    
John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Hebrews 9:22
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.

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