OceanSide church of Christ
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Bible Characters Who Compromised
Victor M. Eskew
A. In a previous lesson, we looked at the subject of compromise.
1. We defined it. Very simply, it is the coming together of two or more persons who come to terms about a decision or problem. Both usually have to give up something in the process.
2. We noted that not all compromise is wrong.
3. We also saw that we cannot give up on the fundamentals.
a. We cannot compromise the fundamentals of the faith.
b. We cannot compromise the fundamentals of morality.
c. We cannot compromise the fundamentals of character.
B. Compromise is a tool of the devil. He has used it throughout the ages. In this lesson, let’s look at some Bible characters who made the decision to compromise.
I. ADAM AND EVE: THE FIRST COMPROMISE
A. The first compromise happened in the Garden of Eden.
1. It involved both Adam and Eve.
2. I refer to this as “a compromise of faith.”
B. Faith’s most basic definition is fully trusting in God’s Word.
1. Adam and Eve had God’s Word about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17).
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
2. Satan came and opposed God’s Word (Gen. 3:4).
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
3. The challenge was on.
a. Would Adam and Eve hold to God’s Word by faith?
b. Would they compromise their faith for the things promised by Satan (Gen. 3:5).
1) Your eyes shall be opened.
2) Ye shall be as gods.
3) Ye shall know good and evil.
4. Adam and Eve compromised their faith (Gen. 3:6).
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
C. Now read Genesis 3:7a.
And the eyes of them both were opened…
1. They gave up their faith.
2. This verse tells us what they received.
3. Question: Was the compromise worth it?
II. LOT: THE FAMILY COMPROMISE
A. The land is described as follows in Scripture (Gen. 13:10b).
…even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
B. It was this land, the well-watered plains of the Jordan that was chosen by Lot for his dwelling place (Gen. 13:11).
Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
C. The problem with this luscious area of land was that it was filled with sin.
1. The description (Gen. 13:13).
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
2. It was toward Sodom that Lot pitched his tent (Gen. 13:12).
D. The story is familiar to all of us.
1. Lot remained a just and righteous man (II Pet. 2:7).
2. His family, however, suffered severely.
a. His daughters were offered to the men of the city as sexual pawns (Gen. 19:8).
b. His sons-in-law lost their lives in the destruction of Sodom (Gen. 19:14).
c. His wife was made a pillar of salt when she turned to look back at the burning city (Gen. 19:26).
d. Ultimately, Lot’s daughters got him drunk and committed incest with him in order to bear children (Gen. 19:36-38).
e. The nations that came from these two sons became the enemies of Israel.
E. Lot may have lived well financially. He may have been a prominent member of his community. But, was his family worthy the compromise?
III. REUBEN: THE FIRSTBORN COMPROMISE
A. Most of us know the story of Joseph very well.
1. Joseph’s being a favorite son of Jacob angered his brothers.
2. His dreams only fueled the fire.
B. The events in Dothan.
1. Joseph’s brothers were feeding their father’s flock (Gen. 37:12).
2. Joseph was sent by his father to check on them (Gen. 37:13-14).
3. As he approached them, his brothers plotted to kill him (Gen. 37:18-20).
4. Reuben, the oldest son, intervened.
a. His intervention involved compromise (Gen. 37:22).
And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him from death.
b. Reuben did save his life, but he did not bring Joseph back to his father. And, when he saw that Joseph has been sold into slavery, he went along with the scheme of his brothers to fake Joseph’s death (Gen. 37:31-320.
1. Reuben should have never used the pit as a plan. He should have taken Joseph back to his father immediately.
2. He should have sought to rescue Joseph from the Midianites.
3. He should have revealed all that had happened to his father.
C. Reuben suffered a compromise in leadership.
1. Leaders have numerous obligations.
2. They may have to stand against very strong opposition.
3. Reuben compromised his position and sided with his brothers evil deeds.
4. Just think. He had to live with his compromise for the next 20+ years. Was it worth it?
IV. THE FECKLESS COMPROMISE
A. When Moses was near death, he called Israel unto him and delivered three speeches to them. They are recorded for us in the book of Deuteronomy.
1. The book sets forth many admonitions for the Israelites.
2. One of them was to make no covenant with the nations in the land of Canaan (Deut. 7:2).
And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them.
B. When Israel invaded the land of promise, their first two victories were Jericho and Ai.
1. These victories concerned the people of the land.
2. One group of people from Gibeon devised a plan to deceive the Israelites (Josh. 9:4-5).
a. “They did work slyly (Josh. 9:4).
b. They made themselves appear to be travelers from a far country with old gear, old clothes, and moldy bread.
c. The desired a covenant with Israel (Josh. 9:6).
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore made ye a league with us.
d. Two verses:
1) They made the league with them (Josh. 9:15).
2) Now read Joshua 9:14.
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
C. Their compromise was feckless which means incompetent or irresponsible.
1. They compromised the nation’s sovereignty and well-being.
2. The nation was supposed to be rid of all the inhabitants of the land.
3. Now, due to their incompetence, one group of Hivites would forever dwell with them.
4. The people would become thorns in their sides. Was their compromise worth it?
V. A FUNDAMENTAL COMPROMISE
A. One of the greatest men who ever compromised in the Old Testament was King Solomon.
B. Solomon was blessed with many things.
3. A peaceful kingdom
4. An extremely large kingdom
C. Solomon’s compromise began with a love for many women.
1. I Kings 11:1
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.
2. This practice was strictly forbidden by God (Deut. 17:3-4).
3. These women turned Solomon’s heart from the living God and from true worship to the worship of strange and false gods (I Kings 11:4-8).
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father…
a. Ashtoreth: goddess of the Zidonians
b. Milcom: Ammorites
c. Chemosh: Moabites
d. Molech: Ammon
D. Relationships, especially intimate ones, are very dangerous.
1. In relationships, there is a desire to please.
2. In relationships, there is a fear of losing the one we love.
3. Love and fear can drive us to compromise, even the fundamental aspects of our faith.
A. We should never fools ourselves into believing that we would never compromise.
B. Many Bible characters, including some very great men, have been known to compromise.
C. If we truly take note of these examples, they will help us to resolve to never follow in their footsteps of compromise.