Monday, June 20, 2011

Compromise

I was reading in my One Year Bible (NLT) last night and came across something that stuck out at me. I was reading in 1 Kings 20; vs. 4 is the verse that struck me. King Ahab was the king of Isreal, living in Samaria at the time- his wife was Jezebel. King Ben-Hadad decided to attack King Ahab and the people of Israel. Now, King Ahab was not a king with a heart for God- in fact, he was quite the opposite. Instead, he was a king all about himself and his needs, not his people, nor his household. It says in verse 2 of chapter 20 that King Ben-Hadad sent messengers to King Ahab saying, "Your silver and gold are mine, and so are your wives and the best of your children." King Ahab, replies to King Ben-Hadad- "All right, my lord and king, All that I have is yours." King Ahab would have rather compromised his livelyhood than risk his life. So he agreed for King Ben-Hadad to come and take these things from him and his family. Now, King Ben-Hadad, seeing that he could take every advantage of King Ahab, he sends more messengers to him and says "I have already demanded that you give me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children. But about this time tomorrow I will send my officials to search your palace and the homes of your people. They will take away everything you consider valuable." King Ben-Hadad was not satisfied with a little once he knew that he could take it all!
Isn't that what compromise does to our lives? We compromise a little here, and then we find ourselves compromising a little more there. Perhaps some ladies at work are talking about another co-worker who you are not real fond of either. You say one thing unkind about that woman, and compromise your walk with the Lord by gossiping. The next day the same ladies are standing around talking more- they are expecting you to compromise a little more and gossip a little more. Soon, you find yourself talking about others at church, at home, and you end up hurting your witness for Jesus. Now they no longer look at you as a Christian, but someone just like them. Just as King Ahab gave in a little here and a little there, eventually everything was taken from him- including his life and the lives of his children. Compromise not only affects us, but everyone that is a part of our lives. King Ahab compromised, yes, but everyone suffered. Including the people of Israel. What are we compromising? Is it something that the Lord has asked us to lay at His feet and walk away from? Or is it perhaps a friend who's extra-curricular activities go against the Christian faith- but you've been friends for a while and you think what harm can come of it? You go along with her to the places you know you should not be, telling yourself that you will be fine. But little by little, you are pulled into the same life. I once heard a very wise Pastor (Pastor Rodney Finch of Calvary Chapel Cary, Cary, NC) said- .It is easier to pull someone down off a bar stool then to try to pull them up from the floor sitting on that same bar stool.
What he meant is that compromise will pull us down, down to the bottom where it is harder to get up from.
Song of Solomon 2:15 tells us, " Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vine. For our vines have tender grapes." It is not only the big trespasses that spoil our walk with Jesus, it is the little "foxes" the little compromises that sneak into our daily lives that spoil the relationship we have with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must remember that we are in a battle- just as Ahab and Ben-Hadad were in a battle for power, for control of the land. We also have a battle waging around us and in us- a battle for our souls. The little foxes that spoil the vine, the little compromises that creep in unawares into our daily lives will eventually rotten any fruit or witness the Lord desires to grow within us. But there is hope, ladies! God our heavenly Father desires to deliver us from these compromises that we are faced with. In 1 Kings 20:28 God says to Ahab, and to us today, "I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord." Take heart and take heed ladies. When we are faced with those little compromises, we must lean upon our Lord and Savior and let Him fight the battle for us. Then and only then will we be saved. Let us not let the little foxes in, let us not compromise what He has given us- our lives. Amen.