A No Compromise Life
1 Kings 11:1-6 1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter–Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
YOU THINK? 🙂
4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.
Today I want to talk with you about unhealthy compromise. Before we dive in let me just say that succeeding in life and especially in relationships will involve healthy compromise. Give and take is a part of living well with people, so not all compromise is bad.
“Healthy compromise is demonstrated when we are able to give in without sacrificing our values and beliefs.”-Charles Stanley (The Glorious Journey, pg. 61)
Unhealthy compromise, then, is giving in to desires of ourselves and others that go against our values and beliefs, and the result can be disastrous.
A New York family bought a ranch out West where they intended to raise cattle. Friends visited and asked if the ranch had a name. “Well,” said the would-be cattleman, “I wanted to name it the Bar-J. My wife favored Suzy-Q, one son liked the Flying-W, and the other wanted the Lazy-Y. So we’re calling it the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y.” “But where are all your cattle?” the friends asked. “None survived the branding.” (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/compromise.htm)
Compromise can bring death into our lives whether spiritual death, the death of a dream, the death of a relationship or some kind of death to our quality of life. Compromising can have serious consequences for believers for sure. God asks for all of us, body, mind, and spirit. He wants 100% not 50% or 75% or even 99%.
Here is what you’d get if 99% was good enough:
No phone service for 15 minutes each day.
1.7 million pieces of first class mail lost each day.
35,000 newborn babies dropped by doctors or nurses each year
200,000 people getting the wrong drug prescriptions each year
Unsafe drinking water three days a year.
2 million people would die from food poisoning each year.
99% isn’t good enough. Compromise complicates lives and causes calamity. When we compromise as Christians what we know to be true, what we know to be right, what we know violates the commands of God in Scripture we are putting ourselves in the driver’s seat rather than living a life submitted to what God requires. We saw how well that worked for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when they relied on their own understanding and when they pursued their own desires apart from the command of God. It didn’t go so well, right?
God’s Word has been given to us so that we don’t HAVE TO LEARN THINGS THE HARD WAY. We can know what God expects of us, and we can pursue that kind of life, and we can avoid making many of the stupid mistakes the people made whose lives are chronicled in the Bible. Did you ever consider that might be one reason it was all written down? So we didn’t have to repeat their foolishness?
God has called his people to a “no compromise” kind of life. Our text today tells the story of an OT man, a “Rock Star” of sorts in his day, the most powerful man in all of Israel, King Solomon. Once dubbed the wisest man who ever lived proved one mistake, one area of compromise can lead to disaster making him perhaps not the wisest but most foolish man who ever lived. Relational compromise led to spiritual compromise and big time trouble.
Back up one chapter in I Kings to chapter 10 and verses 23 and 24 where we read of King Solomon: King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.
This guy had it going on. He had power. He had respect. He had wealth. People wanted to talk to him because what he had to say would be for their benefit and would give them godly direction for their life. Solomon, himself knew what a good idea it was to follow God’s laws. Solomon compromised what he knew was true and took seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. What? You have got to be kidding, right?
How does someone so godly, wise, and powerful make such a stupid decision? If someone so godly and so wise could make the dumb and treacherous decisions Solomon made, what are we capable of? Did Solomon realize he was risking everything? Do we realize what we are risking when we compromise our obedience to God’s Word?
God had been clear in the Law He gave to Moses in Deuteronomy 7. He said in verse one that when the Lord brought the nation of Israel into the Promised Land they would drive out the inhabitants there, people of other nationalities and religions. He said very clearly in verses 3 and 4: Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
God didn’t say, “Don’t intermarry with people of other faiths because it could cause you to go down the wrong road.” He didn’t say, “If you marry people of other religions you might face temptation which could lead you astray.” He said, “Don’t do it because you will surely be led to compromise.” It wasn’t just a bad idea. It was the wrong, absolute wrong path, and its consequences were sure. Solomon knew the Word of God. He knew what He was doing wasn’t God’s idea. He knew what God had said were the consequences. Had he risen to the place as King where he thought he was exempt from those consequences?
From Solomon’s life let’s look at some principles which can help us lead a “no compromise life.” Let’s learn how to avoid compromise. Here we go.
Guard Your Heart. Solomon didn’t do it. What does our text tell us in verse one?
King Solomon loved many foreign women. Obedience to God will mean saying “no” to some things that look appealing, that are enticing, that are even desirable and might be pleasant to experience. Part of being a disciple of Jesus involves laying down our desires to pick up His desires for our lives. God has a good reason for saying “No” to anything He says “No” to, and He has a good reason for saying “Yes” to anything He says “Yes” to. Let me just say that I have found the Christian life to be filled with a lot of “Yesses!” And every “Yes” God has given me has turned out for my benefit and has blessed my life when I have pursued it.
Before Solomon loved foreign women, God had given the command. The command should have steered Solomon to obey God, but he let his heart be swayed in a different direction. Imagine, if one foreign wife was the wrong move, how exponentially bad would Solomon have it with 700? You see, compromise costs us more than we think we are going to pay up front. Compromising didn’t just cause him a problem or two, but it led to a multiplied number of problems.
Solomon opened the door of his heart to these off limits women and what does verse 2 say? He married them and held fast to them in love. Attraction had led to obsession.
By this time Solomon was singing, “If lovin’ you is wrong, I don’t want to be right!” He loved foreign women. He found them attractive. He wanted what he opened his heart to. He didn’t want to hear the truth. He wanted what he wanted, and he wasn’t going to let go. He wasn’t changing course. You see, often when we compromise it’s not easy to get back on God’s path. We become attached to that choice and committed to a new course even if it is a course we know isn’t God’s plan. Our minds take a back seat to our feelings, and we don’t even consider the consequences.
He opened his heart to foreign women. He gave his heart to foreign women, and then in verse 4, the women had taken his heart and turned it against God. Listen, what you give your heart to will have power over you. It is just that simple. Don’t just think about romantic love here. That is the example in the text but we can be attracted to many things that aren’t good for us.
Verse 4: Solomon’s heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been
Here is the bottom line: Compromise is Satan’s strategy to steal our focus, set up a stronghold in our hearts, and eventually lead us away from God.
The progression of Solomon’s activities grew even worse because what he gave his heart to impacted not only his feelings but his behavior. Verse 5: 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD;
Now, the King of Israel, the one who ought to be modeling what it means to live as a person in relationship with God is not just flirting with the enemy, but he is worshiping the enemy! We must not compromise and think that we can then control the outcome or that we can limit just how far we will compromise. A little compromise will take you a long way, farther than you thought for sure!
Solomon didn’t just “do something wrong,” but he became someone different and lived doing evil instead of the good God had in mind. He had all of the influence in the world at the time. He probably even had the power to command that his gazillion wives abandon their idol worship, but instead of influencing them, he was led by them to do what was detestable to God.
Compromise will always demand we give something up. We aren’t talking today about conceding your love for Italian food in order to let the rest of your family enjoy the Mexican Cuisine they are craving on Friday night. We aren’t talking about giving in to your spouse about their desire for the way the toilet paper should hang; if it should be over or under. We aren’t talking about letting someone else pick where you will vacation. We are talking about compromise that gives people and circumstance spiritual authority and power over your life rather than allowing God to set your course.
What is worth giving up your purity, honesty, integrity, reputation as a Christ-follower, or your belief in the Word of God? In this moment you may say, “nothing,” but just one compromise can lead you to compromise any one of those things in a hurry. Compromise always has a price tag of some kind. What are you willing to pay? What are you paying right now?
“Compromise not only costs, but it also corrupts.” (Charles Stanley pg. 65) We see it so clearly in Solomon’s life as he went from worshipping the one true and Living God to worshipping idols. Perhaps you aren’t familiar with the idol worship of that time in which Solomon engaged. It involved animal and human sacrifice. Little babies were thrown into the fire. It involved sexual rituals that were no more than prostitution. What? How did wise Solomon go there? It started with compromise. A wise man became a wicked one. You may say, “I would never go that far. I could never go that far.” Remember, Solomon was basically the smartest guy in the world at the time, and he went that far. Why would you or I be any different? You see a decline in the wisdom and even in the sense of Solomon as he grew further and further away from the Lord.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Solomon had chosen to worship false gods, he then had pagan altars built countless false gods bringing corruption to the land of Israel. 1 Kings 11:7-8: 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. Not only did he not influence those foreign wives to worship the real God of heaven and earth, but he wound up using his influence as king to influence the nation of Israel away from their devotion to God alone by proliferating their land with pagan altars.
What was God’s response? 1 Kings 11:9-12 9 The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. 11 So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
Solomon’s compromise not only ruined his reputation as a godly leader, but who was going to pay the price for his compromise? His son. Solomon had to live with the knowledge that there would come a collapse of his kingdom and his son would be left with little rather than with much.
Satan got Solomon to give up something important and Solomon fell for it hook, line and sinker. Obedience to God had been important. Satan gained a foothold when he got Solomon to compromise. What about you? Have you given up something that was once dear to you? Has it cost you something? Are you now a different, less godly person because of it? How has your compromise impacted other people, perhaps even people that you love? Has it been worth it to you?
To be succinct this morning, the danger of compromise is that it gives the devil a foothold in your life. If you believe what Scripture says about us being in a spiritual war then you have to consider that every time you compromise Satan gains some ground on the battlefield for your life. You may compromise with no intention of ever being conquered by that compromise, but in the end that is what winds up happening.
Don’t think it couldn’t happen to you. It isn’t just people born into a difficult life situation that are easily enticed into the world’s system. Solomon wasn’t a heathen. Solomon wasn’t naïve. Solomon wasn’t a rebel. Solomon wasn’t raised in a worldly home. He was raised by the guy who was said to be a man after God’s own heart. He was raised by King David who prayed that God would create a clean heart in him. Solomon was solid. He had a good reputation. If it could happen to him, it could happen to any of us.
In Ephesians 4:27 Paul tells us not to give the devil a foothold. Giving the devil a foothold is like opening a window or a door to your life and giving Satan access. Most of us probably wouldn’t sleep with our windows or doors open, but spiritually that is what we are doing when we compromise. We are going about our lives and inviting Satan in.
In order to keep those doors closed to Satan we must not compromise the Word of God, the worship of God, and our witness about God/walk with God.
How do we compromise the Word? When we fail to accept it as the standard for our lives we compromise. II Timothy 4:3-4 warns that a time is coming when people will no longer accept God’s Word as their authority but that they will have itchy ears to only hear what they want to hear, to hear what will please them and make them feel better about how they are living. Timothy said that time was coming. Folks, that time is here.
The Bible isn’t true in just parts. It isn’t a collection of fables to teach us how to live moral lives. It is accurate historically, and it contains the truth about how to be in relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. It also teaches us the principles for daily living if we are going to live as the people of God. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit (II Timothy 3:16), and it is without error. We must not compromise God’s Word for any person or for any reason.
I am well aware that from time to time people have chosen to leave our church because they didn’t like what they heard from the pulpit. Whether it was a message about sexual purity, the sanctity of life, or loving your enemies there have been people who could not accept the truth that was being shared from the Word. Listen, we will not compromise the Word of God in order to make ourselves feel good. We will not compromise the word in order to keep from making anyone feel bad, and we will not water down the Word of God to try to appeal to the masses. What we preach and what we attempt to live by must be the Word and nothing but the Word.
Second, we must not compromise the worship of God. God is holy. He desires we be holy. He desires our worship be in Spirit and in truth. When we come here to worship we come to lift Him up and not our preferences. It doesn’t matter whether we like it loud or soft or whether our preference is fast or slow or if we like the old songs better than the new ones. What matters is, is Jesus being exalted and our our hearts pure when we are lifting Him up? This is not an “anything goes” space. When we gather we are focused on the holiness of God, and we want to be in right standing with Him. When we come here we must take serious what we are singing and saying to Him. We must make being together for worship a priority. We must find ways for personal worship as God is worthy of His work in our church as a corporate body, and He is worthy of our worship as individuals.
Third, we must not compromise our witness about God which I guess includes our walk with God. Matthew 15:8 says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Our lives are to be the living proof that Jesus is alive, that He lives in us, and that following Him looks different from the way the world lives. Are we guilty of honoring God with our lips, but living in a way that is disconnected from our confession? Can God say about our habits, our lifestyles, and our interaction with people that He is honored that we say we belong to Him? Does where we go, what we do, what we post, what we do for fun . . . do those things have His approval? Do our habits have God’s stamp of approval?
In every area of our lives, are we keeping the doors and windows closed to the enemy of our souls or are we looking in the direction of danger? Are we flirting with temptation? Are we considering compromise?
The man hailed the world’s smartest man gave in. The cost was great, impacting generations to come. Our theme for the year is that this is the Year of Impact. We want our lives to impact those around us. The best way to do that is to commit to a “no compromise” life.