Remember old King Ahab, the husband of Jezebel? He was the only king of Israel who took a Baal worshipper to rule with him as his queen. He wasn’t faithful to God, he was a negotiator who had no problem selling out God to make a deal with the devil.
When Ben-hadad, (which means son of the god Baal) was defeated because God wanted to reveal Himself as Lord of Israel, Ahab though he had a better idea than God. Since Ben-hadad had surrendered and begged for mercy, Ahab didn’t put him to death as he was supposed to. Instead, he made a deal. Ahab would get lands back that Ben-hadad’s father had stolen from his father, and Ben-hadad could walk free. Ahab wasn’t fighting to honor God to keep Israel pure from the filth of Baal, he was fighting for his own personal gain.
Too many Christians don’t realize they are making deals with the devil. They’ll compromise if a half-blessing is offered, and they snatch it up thinking that it’s the best they can hope for. They don’t see the demonic aspects of that “deal” and that the half-blessings will turn sour very soon.
For example: Sean has been praying hard for a good job since he lost the last one because of his drinking problem. His wife left him and he’s broken and humbled before God. He pleads for forgiveness and is determined to do whatever God asks of him to become the man he ought to be. But deep inside, Sean’s prayers are not totally sincere. He’ll say he will sacrifice his past and give his all to God, but he’s too independent to become like all those other church people around him Sunday mornings. He won’t admit it to himself, but that’s where his heart is, even though he’s showing up for the men’s Bible studies, for evangelism outings, helping the pastor out with handyman work around the church and being a generally great guy. He gets baptized and gives his testimony while the congregation wipes tears from their eyes. He plugs along and doesn’t miss a beat, and in time a job comes along. Then he gets the news that he’s going to be promoted—only it’s for a job hundreds of miles away. But don’t worry, he says, I’ll still be praying and fighting, I didn’t come this far just to slip back!
I’ve worked with the nicest guys just like Sean, and this is the modus operandi of these demons. Get him away from the routine of faith, get him away from people who will hold him accountable, and then pounce. Sean is offered a little weed after work, a drink or two with the guys, and then the whole slew of demons that had been cast out are back in greater strength. Now Sean won’t even answer the pastor’s calls, and may only return a few months later, to slink in the door worse off then before. Instead of placing God first and choosing to stay close to God’s people, he followed the lure of money and that little voice that says, “You’re doing great, you can handle it! Of course you’re changed!”
There are countless examples we could use: a woman who lets her abusive husband move back in just because he’s nice for a while and buys her a new car, parents who make deals with rebellious teens who refuse to stop the demonic music and promiscuity as long as they get good grades, Christian guys who fall for women with false spiritual personas just because they look good, and the list could go on. Ben-hadad’s men came up with the bright idea of appealing to Ahab’s wimpy nature. “We’ve heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings.” But what they really meant was, “We’ve heard that the kings of Israel are pushovers,” and they were right. The devil knows who’s a pushover and ready to water down their faith for quick gratification.
It’s no joke making deals with the devil. People have the gall to blame God when their half-blessings turn into curses, as if their mess was all His fault. If we want to fight for what’s rightfully ours as God’s children, we have to obey every step of the way, sacrifice all He asks, and not settle for the crumbs the devil throws at us. Only God and you know how faithful you really are. If any shred of unfaithfulness is hiding in you, make it your priority to clean it out today so your battle with be victorious. Who wants a half-blessing when you could have God’s best anyway?
The prophet said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you released from your hand the man I had set apart for destruction, it will be your life in place of his life and your people in place of his people.’” The king of Israel left for home resentful and angry, and he entered Samaria. (1 Kings 20:42-43 MEV)