God made us in His image, but so often we try to make God in ours. We want a god we can control, and so we’ll try to bargain with God by making promises or deals that usually begin with “If You will …, then I’ll ….” But, God doesn’t operate that way; rather He works through love.
I. Judges 11:1-40. Despite a similar start to life, Jephthah nevertheless had a different spirit than the judge from previous chapter, Abimelech. Jephthah tried to reason with the Ammonite king to avoid war, but war came anyway. Rather than trusting God, however, Jephthah made a rash vow to God to sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house, which sadly was his daughter, if God would give him victory.
II. Isaiah 44:9-17. In making us in His image, God put us in dominance over all the earth, but that does not include God Himself (1 Corinthians 11:3). We turn to idols even today because we can control them rather than submitting to, trusting in, and obeying God. Even Job thought he had a few points that he would like to argue with God (Job 13:3), but how can creation argue with the Creator (Romans 9:20)?
III. Romans 8:28-32. Instead of coming across as a used car salesman with God (Do I have a deal for You!), we must realize that God loves us unconditionally, will give us whatever we need in line with His will, will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), has thoughts and ways so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8), and has a perfect plan for the perfect time in the perfect way (Galatians 4:4-5). And sometimes we have something to learn from His discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11).
Therefore, love is the coin of the Kingdom. Just as we do for those we love without bargains, promises, or vows, how much more will God do for us as He’s already proved His love through the giving of His Son on the cross (Romans 5:6-8)?