While the effects of compromise are poignantly recorded for us in Christ's messages to Pergamos and Thyatira, its insidious nature is usually not understood by its victims until it is too late and they are trapped in a spiraling escalation of sin. This type of sin is like a vortex that continually leads its prey into greater degradation with fewer and fewer opportunities for escape.
The example of David's sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 is particularly insightful.
Notice how David and Bathsheba's sin began. "One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, 'Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?' Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her" (2 Samuel 11:2-4, NIV).
What started as perhaps a chance observation soon grew into a full-blown sin. There is a profound lesson in this scenario: One little compromise often leads to another and another and another. Such was the case with David and Bathsheba. His initial sin of lust soon escalated into more sin. Then, in an effort to conceal one sin, David committed another.
When David learned that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child, he contrived a plan to get Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite, home from the war so he could sleep with his wife. If this plot worked, then all would assume the child Bathsheba was carrying was Uriah's. But David's plan failed. Because his fellow soldiers were unable to be home with their wives, Uriah chose not to go home to his—even when David got him drunk (verses 6-13).
This development led David to work out a plan to have Uriah killed in battle. Unknowingly, Uriah carried his own execution order back to Joab, the commander of David's army (verses 14-17). Uriah was set in the midst of some of the fiercest fighting. Then those around him withdrew and allowed him to be killed. Now David was not only guilty of adultery, but also of murder. Like the web of a spider that ever more tightly entraps its struggling prey, David's compromises led him from one sin to another.
Such is the nature of compromise whether in David's time, with the Christians in Pergamos and Thyatira during the first century A.D. or with God's people today. UN