Decisions. We all have made them. Some of them have been good. Others have been disastrous. If I was a betting man –you probably have only made a few devastating decisions. However, the majority of your decisions could have been better. Why is that?
Is it because you did not do your due diligence? Is it because you did not seek council? Is it because you acted in the spur of the moment? That is when we generally make our worst decisions. But even if we did our due diligence and sought council, there is a good chance we will still make the wrong decision. Why?
Well, let’s look at King Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12. King Rehoboam was the heir to the throne of King Solomon. When he was made king, Jeroboam came to him and asked for the yoke of Solomon’s harsh service to be lightened on the people of Israel. Jeroboam declared if he did, then the people would serve him.
Rehoboam initially took the right action and instructed Jeroboam and his entourage to give him three days to consider this request. So Jeroboam left, planning to return in three days.
Rehoboam turned to his father’s elders for advice. The elders advised him to loosen the load on the people of Israel as Jeroboam requested and for Rehoboam to become a Servant-Leader to the people. The Elders told Rehoboam that if he did this, speaking kind words to them, they would be his servants forever.
However, Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders and consulted with the young men he had grown up with and who were serving him. Their advice was to make the yoke heavier on the people of Israel. So when Jeroboam returned to Rehoboam at the end of three days, the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the elders’ advice and spoke according to the young men’s advice. The young men probably advised Rehoboam precisely what he wanted to hear. He had no desire to become a servant-leader.
When Rehoboam did this, the people turned against Rehoboam, even killing Adoram, who was in charge of the labor. When this happened, Rehoboam jumped into his chariot and escaped to his home in Jerusalem.
When we first look at this account of Rehoboam’s decision, he took the right action. A request was made. He asked for time to consider the request. He took the request to others to seek their thoughts and advice. Then he made a decision, though the decision resulted in a disastrous outcome.
Now we can sit back and analyze the two opinions Rehoboam received, but I want us to think about what he failed to do. Rehoboam gathered his father’s elders and his friends that he grew up with for advice. This was good because he received differing opinions he could weigh in his mind about the course of action. A deeper study will indicate that Rehoboam took the action he was already leaning towards. And if we are honest with ourselves – don’t we frequently do the same.
Someone says something in the advice they give. It either resonates with us, or it is what we wanted to hear, to begin with, and now we can justify our decision. This is what Rehoboam did.
But I need to ask the question. Who did Rehoboam not consult? Who did he ignore when he was seeking advice? That’s right. God. Of all the people we seek advice from – God should be our number one go-to person. He should be at the top of our list to seek advice on any decision we need to make.
Men! There have been many jokes about how we do not like to ask for directions. We will drive around in circles for hours before asking for help. That is a decision we make, and sometimes it works out, and sometimes it ends with us being embarrassed or humiliated because we had to finally break down and ask for help.
The Bible teaches us that we need to seek others for help. Read these verses.
“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Proverbs 11:14
“A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength; for you should wage war with sound guidance— victory comes with many counselors.” Proverbs 24:5-6
And the Bible teaches us to seek God in our decision-making also. Do not leave Him out of our decision-making process.
“This God, our God forever and ever— He will always lead us.” Psalm 48:14
“I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel.” Psalm 32:8
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (The KJV says, “direct your paths.”) Proverbs 3:5-6
Decision-making recognizes God as a partner in the decision-making process, and prayer is our way of acknowledging our Heavenly Father in all our ways. Prayer is our way of asking God for his wisdom, given liberally and willingly to those who ask for it. Prayer is the incubator of our best ideas and the source of our freshest creativity. Prayer is our lifeline to finding and fulfilling God’s perfect will in all we say and do.
Think back to King Saul. When Saul faced a crisis, he invariably made the wrong decision. Why? He was alert, intelligent, and charismatic but lacked the internal character and intimacy with the Lord. He didn’t make his decisions in prayer or with a view toward God’s glory. Saul’s successor, Rehoboam’s Grandfather, King David, was just the opposite, earnestly seeking God and inquiring of the Lord before every decision.
So Men, the next time you are making a decision, no matter how small or how large, don’t make it on your own. Seek counsel from those who have a solid relationship with God. Gather a group of men around you that can help weigh the information and who can provide good, sound, solid decisions. But above everything else, PRAY! Pray about the decision you are making. See what God has to say about the decision. Search the Bible for help. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His Word.
You may find that the decisions you make in the future will be better. They may not always be right. But you will probably have less disastrous ones.
To the challenge and adventure to disciple men.