Compromise. On the surface it seams like a reasonable notion. For many the concept of a compromise is a noble one however, when it comes to the things of YHWH God and the Kingdom, the question arises … are we allowed to compromise?
The foundation of the concept of compromise is that all things are “negotiable” and so then to reach consensus, the parties give and take to arrive at a place where “everyone wins” or so the notion goes.
However, how many times does this really happen?
As I reflect on my own life’s experiences, I can not think of one positive outcome that came from compromising what I believed in my heart to be true. In fact, every deep regret I have ever had has come from my own compromise of things I knew were true.
In the beginning, YHWH God gave a word to Adam concerning a tree in the midst of the garden. He commanded Adam not to touch the tree. He was told that compromising this precept would have deadly consequences. He was right.
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
What follows as we all know is the fall of man as he disregarded the warning of the LORD not to compromise … and did it anyway. Mankind has been enslaved ever since.
What man thought was “negotiable” was not. YHWH God did not compromise his judgment and cast the man and his wife from the garden as HE said HE would. In this one example we learn a great deal about the God of creation. He doesn’t compromise.
In another example, Saul was named the first King of Israel and was given explicit instructions concerning the destruction of the Amalekites whom had been brutal in their campaigns against Israel. The word of the LORD came to Samuel and the instructions were given directly to King Saul.
1 Samuel 15:2-3 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
The instructions were clear but when it came time for Saul to complete the task, he compromised the mission. He decided on his own that it would be a good idea to save the animals. His reasoning is one I find familiar and see often used.
1 Samuel 15:9 “But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them …”
When you read the story you see that Saul actually was quite proud of himself. When he met the Prophet Samuel he greeted him and declared that he had kept the commandment of the LORD.
Samuel the Prophet representing the uncompromising LORD of Heaven and Earth asked the obvious question. Why do I hear sheep and oxen? What the prophet heard was the sound of compromise.
Saul would go on to explain that he had saved the sheep and oxen to be sacrificed to the LORD as if this somehow would sanitize his compromise. He figured YHWH God would look the other way and consent to the modification of His orders. What Saul found out is that YHWH God is uncompromising.
When he was confronted by the Word of the LORD at first he defended his actions as if it were a negotiation. He insisted that he HAD done what was commanded, with only a few minor exceptions.
But to YHWH God they were not minor. They were catastrophic compromises that cost would not be ignored. Finally Saul realized and acknowledged that he had deviated from the clear command of God.
1 Samuel 15:24 “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”
Look closely at Saul’s words here. He transgressed the commandment of the LORD because he feared the people … and obeyed their voice. He compromised because he listened to the voice of those who were around him as Adam did. It is the exact same sin as Adam committed in the garden of Eden. He listened to another voice … the voice of his wife … who had listened to the voice of the serpent.
When we compromise the commandments of the LORD, the results are equally devastating and no matter WHO YOU ARE, there will be consequences of compromise. In my personal experiences over the span of my lifetime, I can see a trail of consequences that have come as a result of compromising what I knew was the word of the LORD.
What was the price of Adam’s compromise? What was the price of Saul’s compromise? The price seems to always be the same. Death and sorrow.
Both Adam and Saul lost their favor with God. Though still loved and yes, they could be redeemed by the blood of the lamb, they could not recover their once held position of favor. It was lost forever to them.
They lost the blessing they had once walked in and so do we all when we go about to compromise the Word of the LORD.
I would suggest that Saul additionally lost the respect of his people when he compromised. This is the hidden price of capitulation to that which we know is wrong. We lose and we regret.
Now in the 21st century, I see ministers, ministries, churches, and congregations that are bent on making the same error. The notion that YHWH God will bless what he expressly commanded us not to do is ludicrous but under the banner of Grace, this compromise is fed to people and the voice of the LORD is ignored.
Adam was King of the world … and he lost it to compromise. Saul was King of Israel, and he lost it to compromise. We see time and again those who hold positions of power and authority that are brought low because of compromising what they knew was right and it caused a fall.
The words of Samuel the Prophet of YHWH remain steadfast through the ages. We do well to heed them especially if we are walking in authority in the household of faith.
1 Samuel 15:22-23 “And Samuel said, Hath YHWH God as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of YHWH God? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of YHWH God, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
Our history and even our own lives have taught us that the price of compromise is greater by far than any benefit derived in the short term. This is true of everyone.
If a ministry is compromising the integrity of the commandments of YHWH God and is doing it “because they feared the people, and obeyed their voice” how then can YHWH bless that when He has already made it clear he does not compromise.
If a ministry knows something is NOT YHWH’s commandment and yet “looks the other way” because they don’t want to “offend the people” then the fate of that ministry is sealed and it is in peril of decommissioning.
This is not an hour to “fear the people” for this has only led to ruin. This is an hour to LEAD the people into YHWH’s word and commandments with great humility. This is not a time to try to sanitize our compromise with good sounding platitudes that make us feel better while we compromise … this is a time to honor the word and commandments of YHWH God.
Jeremiah 10:2-5 “Thus saith YHWH God, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
When YHWH God says not to do something … are you one of those who rationalizes, justifies, and sanitizes your compromise … or do you Hearken unto the voice of the LORD your God?
Are you a person who thinks that because YHWH loves you that he will not judge? Did HE not love Adam? Saul?
Like Joshua we must all make a determination whom we will serve and if we will or wont compromise what we know is the word of the LORD. Will we be a people that tries to “look the other way” or will be look into HIS face and say … Yes Lord.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
If we would have healing, we must turn from that which TWISTED his word. That is is what “wicked” means. It means to twist or to compromise. When we know the word of the LORD and rationalize in our minds that he “wont mind” or “it’s no big deal” we are asking God to compromise and He will not.
That’s why HE sent the savior. He sent him to die because, sin requires death as a price … and He is so uncompromising, He sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty.
The Cross … it’s the true price of Compromise.