The Greatest Bargain Ever!

Posted on November 9, 2020

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By David Ettinger

A Tricky Proposition
Bargains are tricky propositions. Bargains involve an object received at an advantageous price.

The tricky part of bargains is that they are hard to trust. Too often, bargains reinforce the old and trusted saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Either what’s asked in return for the bargain is far too costly, or the bargain itself is not all it’s hyped-up to be.

This is why when most rationally-thinking adults see the word “Bargain” emblazoned across a humongous sign, they tend to surmise, “Yeah, I bet.”

Indeed, in this world of hucksters, swindlers, and thieving liars, navigating the legitimacy of “bargains” is indeed a tricky proposition.

Too Good to Be True!
However, when the Lord God – our Creator who is incapable of lying (Titus 1:2) – offers humanity a bargain, it can be instantly trusted. And this despite that all of God’s bargains do “sound too good to be true.”

This holds true for salvation. The human race consists of a massive collection of individuals who deserve eternal, spiritual death because of our blatant unholiness and sin. Yet, God offers us a bargain: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Romans 10:9 adds a tad of detail: “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Does this sound too good to be true? Knowing we are born sinners deserving of spiritual death (Psalm 51:5; Romans 6:23), does it seem right that “all we have to do” is confess our belief in the Lord Jesus and He will replace our warranted eternal death with undeserved eternal life?

No, it does not, but it’s what God offers. Individually speaking, it is the bargain of a lifetime, and despite the fact that it sounds too good to be true, we best take it.

A National Bargain
Then there are national bargains – those God offers to nations. A perfect example is found in the first chapter of the Book of Isaiah.

In Isaiah’s opening salvo, the Lord spends the first 17 verses outlining Israel’s vast sins, among them revolting against Him (v. 2); abandoning Him (v. 4); being spiritually bankrupt (vv. 5-6); and corrupting the Mosaic Law (vv. 10-15). (Hmm, do any of these sound like the nation you live in?) Yet, despite these grievous iniquities, God still offers the nation a bargain too good to be true. To Israel, God says:

“Come now, and let us debate your case,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They shall become as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, You will eat the best of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken (vv. 18-20).

Notice how the Lord never enters into a debate with Israel. He skips that part as if to say: “You have no defense for all I have just accused you of, so let’s dispense with the debate and go straight to the bargain.”

He then, in essence, tells them: “Though you have sinned greatly by turning away from me and profaning my name and the Law I gave you, I am still willing to bestow good upon you. Simply turn from your evil ways, obey me, and I will bless your nation.” Such a bargain!

This offer is not being made to believers, but to unbelievers. To the nations of the world – all the nations of the world – God is saying: “You have abhorred me long enough. Come to me in repentance, confess the name of My Son, Jesus Christ, and I will cleanse you, heal your land, and bring you peace.”

What a weighted scale! God will bestow abundant goodness upon nations for one thing in return: Obedience to Him. A greater bargain has never been offered! Tragically, however, a greater bargain has never been so ignorantly and arrogantly rejected.

May we who have accepted the Lord’s bargain on His terms be praying for those who haven’t – particularly those nations who can’t recognize the most astonishing bargain every offered when they see it!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.