Bad Decisions Jos 9:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
It bothers me that good men in the Bible sometimes made bad decisions. The concern, obviously, is that if they made bad decisions in their days, what’s to prevent us from making bad decisions in our days? We need to learn from their mistakes. And we need to take heed that just because we may have made some good decisions in the past we may not make good decisions in the future. We are going to preach, then, on how to avoid making some bad decisions.
Bed Decisions are made when:
You neglect to pray – Jos 9:14 – Israel made a league with the men of Gibeon when they saw by all indications that the Gibeonites were men from a very far country [Jos 9:9]. That was a bad decision. Israel could make peace with them if they were from far away [Deut 20:10-11, 15]. But after making the league, Joshua discovered their wile [Jos 9:3-6] and found out that they were their neighbors [Jos 9:16]. This bad decision was the result of not asking counsel at the mouth of the Lord. To avoid bad decisions you need to pray until you know the mind of the Lord in the matter [2 Sam 5:19, 23-24].
You neglect the Bible – 2 Chr 16:2-3, 7 – Asa was a king whose heart was “perfect all his days,” [2 Chr 15:17]. Yet near the end of his reign he made the decision to pay Benhadad, the Syrian king, to break his league with Israel and attack them in order to protect Judah’s northern border. That was a bad decision. Asa earlier in his reign had cried unto the Lord when Judah was attacked by Ethiopia. Judah was outnumbered 1,000,000 to 580,000 and yet because they relied upon the Lord, God smote the Ethiopians and delivered Judah [2 Chr 14:8-13]. Asa should have relied upon the Lord against Israel, too, but he didn’t. Instead, he sent Benhadad gold and silver from the treasurers of the house of the Lord. When the prophet, Hanani, reproved him for this decision, Asa got mad and locked him up [2 Chr 16:7-10]
What went wrong with Asa? He had relied upon the Lord before, he took away the idols and renewed the altar of the Lord [2 Chr 15:8], they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God [2 Chr 15:12], they swore with all their heart and sought the Lord with all their desire [2 Chr 15:15] and he removed his idolatrous mother from being queen [2 Chr 15:16]. So, how could he make such a bad decision? Judah had neglected the word of God [2 Chr 15:3]. Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, had to send Levites and priests to teach them [2 Chr 17:7-9] because Asa had neglected the words of God. Though he had a perfect heart and he really cleaned up his country, he didn’t know the book of the law. To avoid bad decisions you need to stay in the book so your faith will be strong and your reliance upon God absolute.
You neglect separation – 2 Chr 18:1 – Jehoshaphat joined affinity with Ahab, meaning that he married into the family. He married Ahab’s sister. That was a bad decision. When Jehoshaphat first took the throne, “he strengthened himself against Israel,” [2 Chr 17:1], which was the right thing to do since Israel was Judah’s enemy. In addition, he didn’t worship Baalim, he sought the Lord, he took away the high places and the groves and he sent priests and Levites throughout the kingdom to teach the book of the law [2 Chr 17:3-9]. Nevertheless, in order to attempt to reunite the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel, Jehoshaphat married the sister of the king of Israel. After fighting in a battle with Ahab, Jehu, the seer, proclaimed to Jehoshaphat that the Lord’s wrath was on him for helping the ungodly and loving them that hate the Lord [2 Chr 19:1-2]. To avoid bad decisions you need to stay separated from the world [2 Cor 6:14-18; Jas 4:4]. When you attempt to put things together that God wants to keep separate, God becomes your enemy. Christians must make decisions like the Lord; not like the world.
You neglect preaching – 2 Chr 18:16-27 – Jehoshaphat went to Ramothgilead to fight against the Syrians after being warned by Micaiah that the king of Israel would die in the battle. That was a bad decision. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to fight with him at Ramothgilead, Jehoshaphat pledged his support [2 Chr 18:2-3]. Before going into battle, Jehoshaphat asked Ahab to inquire of the Lord [2 Chr 18:4]. When Micaiah, the hated prophet [2 Chr 18:7], prophesied, Jehoshaphat and Ahab got their answer from the Lord. However, they both neglected the truth preached by the preacher and went into battle anyway. Jehoshaphat even went into the battle dressed in his robes [2 Chr 18:29] and would have gotten himself killed if the Lord had not helped him [2 Chr 18:31]. To avoid bad decisions, listen carefully to good preaching and follow what you hear. The Lord uses good preaching to give you direction in your life but the preaching won’t do you any good if you don’t follow it.
Conclusion: Bad decisions can be made, even after you have made many good decisions. To avoid bad decisions remember to pray, stay in the Bible, stay separated from the world and listen to and follow good preaching.