Compromise. What does the word mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Compromise could mean “to come to an agreement by mutual concession,” or “to find or follow a way between extremes,” or “to make a shameful or disreputable concession.”
Often people believe individuals who know how to compromise have a good character traits. They generally know how to get along with others. Married couples sometimes disagree but work together to compromise and meet somewhere in the middle. Business partners need to work through differences of opinion so the business can continue to operate smoothly. Politicians often need to compromise on deciding matters of public policy.
Compromise is considered part of life, and we need to learn how to compromise, especially when it differs from our position. However, spiritual compromise can lead us to ruin because our allegiance to God is non-negotiable.
Men! Let’s look at Israel’s King Solomon for a few moments and see how his compromise ruined not only his family but the direction of the nation of Israel.
To understand how Solomon compromised, we need to go back to the time God was giving the nation of Israel specific instructions on how to live. Commandments and ordinances God expected the Israelites to follow for their protection, both physically and spiritually.
When the Israelites were being instructed on their relationship with foreign nations, they were told in Deut 7:3, “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons.” Why? In verse 4 of Deut 7, the Israelites were told, “for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods.”
Now let’s fast forward to 1 Kings 11.
In 1 Kings 11:1, we learn that King Solomon loved many foreign women. We learned earlier in Chapter 3 that Solomon made an alliance with Pharoah, King of Egypt, and Pharoah gave Solomon his daughter to marry to seal the alliance. Now we learn here in chapter 11 that Solomon also took wives from the nations of Moab, Ammon, Hittites, and the Sidonians. In fact, we read in verse 3 of Chapter 11 that Solomon ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines.
Now many jokes have been made about Solomon having so many wives, but this was a serious break in obedience to God’s command. Solomon may have justified his actions as all the nations mentioned in this chapter were nations that surrounded Israel. Solomon probably married these foreign women from a political position to establish a peaceful alliance with the surrounding nations. For we know Israel had peace with the nations during Solomon’s reign.
Solomon may have thought he did right by compromising the commandment of God in regards to marrying foreign women. He probably justified his actions because it brought peace to Israel. But God’s word did not give him an alternative if it involved Israel’s peace. The message was imperative, “You shall not intermarry.”
As we continue to read about Solomon in Chapter 11 of 1 Kings, we see that just like Israel was warned in Deut 7, Solomon’s heart was being turned away from God and was supporting and worshipping the god of his foreign wives. Because of this, God’s – Yahweh – anger burned against Solomon, and he declared I will tear the kingdom out of your hands, but I will not do it in your lifetime but during the reign of your children. And this is what we see through the rest of the accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah.
This should be a clear message to us men. The decisions we make and the decisions we compromise on when it comes to being obedient to God will not only affect our lives but could drastically affect the lives of our children through many generations.
So, men, I want to encourage you to examine your life and determine if you are compromising any area of your life to the Word of God. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:40, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!”
If you discover an area that you have been compromising or are in the process of compromising, repent of it today and return to the Lord. If you continue down that path, it could affect the lives of your entire family and your children for many generations.
Solomon’s actions were pretty extreme; maybe yours is not. But even a slight compromise in how we talk, the activities we participate in, and the company we keep could compromise our relationship with God. So be careful in all you do, and make sure you do it all for the Lord and not yourself.
Well, that’s it for this episode of a Men’s Ministry Moment. Be sure to follow me as I provide you with more insights, ideas, and information regarding ministering to men.
To the challenge and adventure to disciple men.