In Exodus chapter 8, over the progression of the course of the plagues God delivers to Egypt, Pharaoh tries to compromise with Moses. Instead of allowing the people of Israel to leave and worship God, Egypt’s ruler tries to change the terms. In Exodus 8:25, Pharaoh tries to get them to stay in the land while worshiping, but Moses rebuts this compromise. In verse 28, Pharaoh tries a different tack – go and worship, but not three days journey. Exodus 10:10-11, Pharaoh commands Moses to take only the men and leave the women and children behind. Finally, in Exodus 11:24, the terms are to take the people but leave their flocks and herds behind. In like manner, Satan tries to compromise with us.
The Devil’s Compromises
“Stay in the land.” The devil tells us to give God lip-service, to worship God but remaining in the world. He entreats us to never separate ourselves from the world, but Jesus, in Matthew 15, warns that our hearts and actions should agree. We not only give God our service. We give Him our hearts. We cannot worship God wile compromising with the world.
“Don’t go far.” Satan tells us to be Christians, but keep it shallow. Obey some things. Do some good, but don’t be a fanatic. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus calls upon to love God wholly and completely. This is not a call for meeting God halfway. This is a call to dedicate ourselves entirely to Him.
“Don’t Take Your Families.” The devil encourages us to keep our faith to ourselves. Don’t try to impact others, but Matthew 5:13 records Jesus telling His followers that they are the salt of the land, a light to the world. He calls upon them to let their light shines so others can see the faith they profess. Jesus expects us to influence others.
“Divide Your Loyalties.” Satan calls us to allow worldly concerns to pull us away from God, but Jesus calls us to lay up treasures in Heaven in Matthew 6:24-33. We cannot serve God and our earthly treasures, so we should seek God first, trusting in Him and finding refuge in Him alone.
Pharaoh wanted to control Israel through comprise, but there is no compromise with God’s edicts. The same is still true. Satan wants us to make compromises and control us through those trade-offs. If we value our spiritual heritage, we will resist him at every turn, showing him that God’s will not bend to his deceptions.
lesson by Tim Smelser