Summary: When a Christian compromises his godly values and rationalizes that the ends justify the means, he opens the door to all kinds of trouble, not only in his own life, but in the lives of many others.
Compromise is not always bad. I heard one preacher say that he torn the word compromise out of his dictionary. I thought, “You must not be married!”
However, if we compromise our godly values, we open the door for trouble in our lives. This is true because God loves us, and when we start in direction that is going to bring us hurt, one of two things will happen:
1. He will allow circumstances to come into our life that will cause us to turn.
2. He will let us learn the lesson by living with the consequences of the error of our way.
It starts small
At the time God spoke to Solomon, in this text, I have no doubt that Solomon had the best of intentions of following the Lord as closely as he possibly could. His first compromise seemed like a rational thing to do. You remember, Solomon has asked God for wisdom that he might know how to lead the people, and God granted him unsurpassed wisdom. Now, I used to think that God gave Solomon “across the board” wisdom, in other words, wisdom in every area of life, but in reality, God gave him the wisdom that he asked for. He gave him political wisdom for judgement and leadership. His personal wisdom for ordering his own life, on the other hand, came up terribly lacking. The reason for this is that he had to walk by faith, just as we all do. So, Solomon’s initial compromise was to marry some women for political advantage. Soon, he began to marry one king’s daughter after another, and in so doing, locking in a peace for his kingdom that he would enjoy for most of his life. The problem was, that many of these women were of nations with which God had expressly forbidden His people to intermarry.
Moral failures among Christians, not only in the pew, but even in the pulpit, are at an all time high. How could this be? The answer is compromise! It is the compromising of godly values that begins with just a lingering look, or a flirtatious talk, or purposefully sloppy book-keeping. The point is, it begins small.
It grows out of control.
Look at 1 Kings 11:4-8, and see how full blown it became in the end. Do you think Solomon ever dreamed this would happen, back in his younger days? He knew, in his head, that God had miraculously been with his father, David, and he had seen the blessings of God, as Israel had risen to be the greatest nation in the world. God had appeared to him twice, first in Gibeon in a dream, as recorded in 1 Kings 3:5-14, then the second time in our text. 1 Kings 3:3 says, “And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father, David...” But, then the verse goes on to say, “Except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.”
Now look at 1 Kings 11:26-35. Solomon had become so deceived by his compromise, that he somehow thought he could worship other gods and continue in the blessing of Almighty God.
David had been a man who would inquire of God before major decisions, and he would humble himself before God when he was wrong. Consequently, God said that David was a man after His own heart. Solomon, on the other hand, set out to rationalize his way through life. He forgot his own proverb, that God had given him, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6.)