Read 1 Samuel 11:1-15
Even though Saul had been anointed and publicly acknowledged as king of Israel . . . even though God had chosen and the people had cheered . . . the nation had not yet had opportunity to rally around this tall, handsome man’s leadership. Here was the opportunity!
The people of Jabesh were contemplating compromise. Having been threatened by the seemingly more powerful Ammonites, they suggested to the enemy a covenant. If the enemy would spare their lives, they would offer themselves as slaves ready to serve their nemesis. I suppose the compromise seemed logical. I mean, what wouldn’t you give in exchange for your life?
But be careful! There are some opponents you need to stand up against. Not every difficult situation merits compromise. The Israelites were the people of God. They were servants of Yahweh. God did not want them to become servants of pagan people. A little give-and-take in order to avoid difficulty was not always the right path. This compromise would cost them their exclusive devotion to God, the sight in their right eye, and the ridicule of their fellow countrymen.
Before you strike a compromise with a person, or simply in your daily activities, make sure you do some careful calculations of the price tag attached. Is the potential compromise a non-negotiable with regard to a moral issue or a biblical conviction?
As the people of Jabesh weighed the cost of compromise against the value of their lives, there was another factor they had failed to consider. They had forgotten the power of a united community. While they may not have been able to defeat the Ammonites on their own, this enemy was no match for the 300,000 men rallied by King Saul!
While it is true that you and God are a majority, don’t forget the power that comes from surrounding yourself with people of faith! With their prayerful support and encouraging help, enemies lose their power.
Back to our story one last time . . . it was this event that catapulted Saul from a person who was respected for his stature and his position to a place where he was honored for his tested leadership and commitment to the people.