Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Slippery Slope Of Compromise

Men of the Bible Series - Watch out, Balaam's compromise is contagious.

Numbers 22-24

Deuteronomy 23:5  But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam. He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you.

Numbers 31:7  They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. 8 All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.

Revelation 2:12  “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel.

The Israelites are making a lot of progress in over taking the countries that occupied the Promised Land and Balak, king of Moab (Numbers 22:2), consequently becomes alarmed, and sends his messengers (Numbers 22:4-5), to Balaam to tempt him to come and curse God's chosen people.

Compromise, first victim - Balaam. In this twisted story of obedience and compromise Balaam begins by sending back word that he can only do what God and that God has told him not to go. Balak is persistent and sends higher ranking priests and offers Balaam honors. Balaam, in his covetousness, really wants to go and continues to press God, and God finally allows him to go with instructions to say only what he commands.

Compromise, second victim - Israelite men. In this story of children of Israel should be attaching Balak and his country but instead they compromise and some of the men begin having sexual relations with the Moabite women which leads to idolatry (Numbers 25:1-3).

Psalms 17: 3-5  You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.

I want to be able to say what David said in the Psalm. Sometimes we so want to do something that isn't in our best interest and we are sure that God is opposing us and yet we are still tempted to go on and participate but if we want the best life possible then we need to be careful and obey the Lord.

Lord help me to overcome the temptation to deviate from the best that you have for me. You didn't promise me a cushy life without trials but if I compromise from your will then I will certainly fall short and I will miss out on the blessings that you have in store for me.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.