Hebrews 9:1-22; Exodus 6:28-8:32; Proverbs 2
Isn’t it amazing how often God does what’s least expected? You know the type of prayer, “God if you deal with my problem I will go to church every week” or some other promise along that order. The person praying rarely believes that God really cares enough about them to even hear their prayer, let alone grant their request but in desperation they call out their promise. Then, God deals with the problem and the sickness goes away or the troubles stop and the poor person praying now has to deal with the fact that they have now made a promise to God.
As the plagues began in Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrew people leave the country the land filled with frogs. There were frogs everywhere. Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for God to deal with the frogs and he would let the people go worship God. Moses prayed and the frogs went away. Pharaoh had no dilemma though: “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.” Notice that God wasn’t surprised by Pharaoh reneging on his promise. The plagues continued as did Pharaoh’s pledges to let Israel go and his continual failure to live up to his promises.
How often do I pray in the heat of the moment, perhaps not expecting God to hear, and make promises I don’t expect to have to keep? Then, God answers our prayers. We are not in the same predicament as Pharaoh, of course, but I think God wants us to seek to fulfill even those promises made in desperation. We may not succeed, if the promise was beyond our ability. Even if we don’t succeed, our efforts to fulfill our promises draw us closer to God. At the same time, if, instead of depending on our own strength, we sought God’s help and strength, it’s amazing how often we might be able to complete our promises to God.