Making Good Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions, we all have to make decisions. Sometimes we make good ones and sometimes we don't. No matter what, each decision that we make has a consequence attached to it.  Throughout history, men have made mistakes and men have learned from mistakes made. As humans, we are all imperfect. Only God alone is perfect. God never makes a mistake. However, the rest of us need a little guidance on how to make good decisions.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, 
   and he will make your paths straight.Do not be wise in your own eyes; Proverbs 3:5-7a (NIV)

These were words attributed to Solomon in the book of Proverbs. We know from history that scripture reveled what God expected in a king.

“be sure to appoint over you a king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.”Deuteronomy 17:15-20 (NIV)

After reading this, one has to ask, ” What happened to Solomon?” He started out well. He followed God and asked for wisdom to serve the people well. However, as time passed, he changed. He developed a love for splendor, wealth and women. He made a few bad choices, didn't he? In fact, scriptures tells us, that the consequences of his actions were that God would take away the kingdom from Solomon's son.

“The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” 1 Kings 11:9-13 (NIV)

King Solomon forgot his first love, God, and  he made some bad choices for the sake of power, wealth, reputation and lust. God was not pleased. The consequence to those bad decisions is that his heir to the throne, his son, Rehoboam, grew up watching all of these choices and learned from them to follow in his father's footsteps. After Solomon's death, God used Rehoboam's own bad choices to split the kingdom and tear power away from him and Solomon's line just as He said He would do.

What happened here? Why were these bad decisions made? These were decisions made without consulting God.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Be not wise in thine own eyes:”  Proverbs 3:6-7a (KJV)

These were words from Solomon himself, yet he did not take his own advice.  In all your ways, acknowledge God. Seek God first in all things and in all decisions. Take your time. Do not make hasty decisions based on your own wisdom. Unless a decision on something very important has to be made in a split second, take time to make good decisions seeking God's will in all things. Consider how your decision might effect everyone involved.

Seek God. Seek Godly counsel. Be patient. Wait upon the Lord for answers. Be willing to accept His answer even if it's not what you want and humbly put God and others before yourself and your own desires and needs. You might be surprised how rewarding that can be.

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