David… Solomon… Samson…
What did all these biblical characters have in common? At the beginning of their journey, we saw that they had great favour with God and that He had chosen and set them apart from the other people around them. However, we also read of the distress and disgrace they faced all because they chose to depart from God’s instructions to please either themselves or others.
They chose to compromise.
We hear about the importance of compromise every day:
You must compromise in your marriage.
You must compromise in your job.
You must compromise in your friendships.
All successful relationships require compromise.
It is true that successful human relationships require some amount of compromise at some point from both parties. Afterall, no one is perfect,and no one is always right – not even the customer.So inevitably, in order to have healthy, functional relationships you will have to make some concessions so you can live in peace with those around you.
There is however one area when not only is compromise not recommended, but it is also downright dangerous. God’s word. Understand this – the word of God is not a recommendation. It is an instruction. Instruction that you follow or disobey to your own peril. The bible tells us that holding steadfastly to God’s instructions is an essential part of living a successful life
We were warned, “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess”(Deuteronomy chapter 5, verses 32-33).
What some of us may not realize is that we don’t just wake up one morning and find ourselves living a life or compromise. It is usually a process that often starts with us rationalizing in our minds why something that we know is wrong, is actually not that bad. And from here we start to compromise in our hearts and thoughts until it is just a matter of time before we are talking the talk and walking the walk.
Even though the bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 22 to “Abstain from all appearance of evil”, we like to flirt with the idea of getting as close as possible to certain lines without actually crossing them. If only we knew that the second we decided to accept the thought of accommodating sin, we were already headed for disaster.
A hefty price
Have you ever wondered if Samson didn’t pick up on the fact that Delilah was trying her hardest to set him up? Was it pride that refused to let him recognize that everytime he gave her a reason for the source of his strength he would find his enemies trying to subdue him while he was in the same condition that Delilah thought would weaken him? Or was he so in love with this woman who should have been his enemy that he couldn’t see her for who she was?
Whatever the case, Samson was pretty reckless in his compromise, and it ended up costing him his sight, freedom and, eventually, his life.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs chapter 14, verse 12).
Solomon had the backdrop for such a great story. He was the child Bathsheba bore to David after the child conceived through adultery had died. He was greatly favoured by God and had wisdom unlike any other. He also untold wealth and had the admiration of people near and far. But Solomon also had many women, from many different nations – nations that God told Israel not to intermarry with.
And Solomon got carried away into idolatry in an effort to please his many wives. Solomon who knew the God of Israel, whose own father God had called a man after His own heart (1 Samuel chapter 13, verse 14), found himself worshipping pagan gods and trying to mix the holy with the profane.
God gave this warning directly to Solomon:
“But if youor your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’” (1 Kings chapter 9, verses 6-9).
If you know the history of Israel and how the kingdom was divided after Solomon’s death with the majority stripped from his son Rehoboam, not to mention their captivity then you would know just how dearly not only Solomon, but the entire nation of Israel paid for this compromise.
Stay tuned for part 2.
Natasha Young is an accountant and mother of one from the land of wood and water (Jamaica) in the West Indies who feels like she has missed her true calling which was to have become a teacher, or writer/director (or all of the above!). She is the only person she knows who works with numbers everyday but had English as a favourite subject in school. The most used app on her phone is Kindle so you know what that means. She is a lover of music and can oftentimes be heard belting on the top of her voice even though singing is not a talent of hers. But ultimately, she is just a sinner saved by grace who believes we all have a responsibility to use our gifts for the growth of God’s people and His glory.