1 Sam. 11:1-2
Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you".
And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, 'On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel"
Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, "Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you."
None of us sets out to make a covenant with the devil and deny the Lord. Yet how many Christians start out strong, with a blast of passion, and end up compromising with the world and eventually turning away from the truths of the faith.
This passage reminds me of something I encountered years ago in the denominational church world. During my early childhood, the church world was divided sharply along doctrinal lines. Denominations were splitting and forming new ones faster than you could blink. Because of how this looked to the outside world, Christians began to wail and lament over the fractured Body of Christ...that Christ's prayer "that they all be one" was not answered.
So pastors and church heirarchy began to come together in the name of unity, laying down doctrinal differences. In some cases it was justified...there was a laying down of nonessential distinctions in order to come together on the things that mattered. But the more they covenanted with one another in the name of unity, the more they despised the defense of sound doctrine.
In time, Unity became a giant golden calf and the people dancing around it found themselves, like the world, glorifying diversity rather than glorifying Christ.
In reality, what was drawing these men and women, was a deep desire to be accepted by the world system. They wanted their pastors to be more and more educated in the world's eyes. The denomination I was in had the most phd's per capita of any denomination in the world, and took great pride in this fact. They wanted their counselors to be accepted by the world, and they wanted their organizations to be accepted by the government, and by The United Nations, ... and they wanted influence in political circles.
The result was a watering down of the Gospel. They wanted love without confrontation; forgiveness without repentance; grace without God's law; and unity without Christ's headship.
And so today we have churches, pastors and denominations who do not even believe the Bible is the Word of God...who get their theology from popular books and movies.
Half of all born again Christians believe that satan is not a real being, just a symbol of evil. 28 percent of born again Christians believe that "while He lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, just like other people".
In this passage of scripture, Israel was actually considering a covenant which would bring them a measure of peace with their enemies...a covenant which would allow them to exist side by side. And yet it was a covenant which would cost them their right eyes! Notice that Nahash, whose name means "serpent", did not tell them they could not longer worship Jehovah God
Israel was saying, "we are Israelites...we worship the God of Heaven. But we need something that the world has to offer. We're tired of war and we're tired of everyone being against us. We want acceptance with you...and we're willing to compromise in order to have peace."
The right eye is the military eye...it is necessary for shooting, for strength of vision. To put out one eye means loss of depth perception, loss of discernment. So what the enemy was offering would render Israel incapable of battle, unable to fight any more. This story would have truly ended in disaster had not Saul risen up and taken soldiers to fight against the Ammonites and defeat them. It was one of the few times that Saul showed himself to be a man of God.
Many Christians aren't aware of satan's traps and do not understand the cost until they've lost their ability to see...and then it's impossible without supernatural aid, to renew them.
Beloved, beware when you begin to excuse ungodliness around you because you do not want to lose acceptance with friends and family. Beware of falling into immorality because of 'your needs' and believing that there is no cost involved. Beware of intellectualism taking the place of simple trust in God's Word, and beware of the lure of enticing philosophies and religions which deny Christ. Beware of the need to be accepted by those in the world or of being embarassed that you may sound too simple and too radical. Keep your eyesight! It's far more important than these things.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon