Making Wise Decisions

"And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants."

"And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.

"Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by."

I Samuel 18:5,14-15,30

 

Fleece

Gideon
He knew God's will, but wanted signs
Judges 6:36-40

 

  • Looking for signs or outside indicators
  • Choosing by circumstances or fate
  • We call this superstition or mysticism
  • Horoscopes, ouija boards, or psychics
  • Valuing coincidences or chance events

Enemies changed locale (I Kgs 20:23)
Israel took the ark to battle (I Sam 4:3)
Pagans look to the heavens (Jer 10:2)
God condemns all such (Deut 18:9-14)
His silence can be censure (Ps 50:21)

 

 

Fortune

Lot
He chose riches and lost everything
Genesis 13:10-11

  • Thinking selfishly for the short-term
  • Choosing for your gain or advantage
  • We call this covetousness or greed
  • Pride, self-love, discontent, or emulate
  • It is making choices to protect yourself

Love of money ruins (I Tim 6:6-10)
Losing is winning (Matt 16:25; 19:29)
Generosity brings returns (Pr 11:24)
Achan could not resist (Josh 7:19-26)
Eve saw many advantages (Gen 3:6)

 

Feelings

Amnon
Love and hate caused sinful choices
II Samuel 13:1-16

 

  • Allows feelings to influence decisions
  • Choosing by intuition or conviction
  • We call this sentimentality or lust
  • Infatuation, emotion, pity, or desire
  • "I have peace about it; it just feels right"

The heart deceives above all (Jer 17:9)
We must hate all but God (Lk 14:26)
Corinth did not judge (I Cor 5:1-2)
Hate date feelings (Pr 6:23-25; 31:30)
Chasten against any crying (Pr 19:18)

 

 

Faith

Abraham
He went to a new land purely by faith
Hebrews 11:8

  • Trusts God and His Word absolutely
  • Believes God is and He rewards seekers
  • Disregards signs, feelings, and fortune
  • Bible is perfect manual for life choices
  • Bible alone to answer every question

Scripture is absolute (Psalm 119:128)
Faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:1,6)
Scripture is only light (Isaiah 8:19-20)
Moses' parents had faith (Ex 2:1-4)
David spared Saul (I Samuel 26:6-12)

 

What tempted Joseph when solicited by Potiphar's wife? The feelings of a beautiful woman and the fortune of wonderful employment; but he chose faith (Gen 39:7-9).

What tempted Abraham when God asked for Isaac as a burnt offering? The feelings for his son by Sarah and the fortune of his promised seed (Hebrews 11:17-19).

What tempted Eli when he knew his sons were committing gross sacrilege? The feelings against killing his own sons (I Sam 3:13). But Asa was better (II Chr 15:16).

What tempted Judas Iscariot? The fortune of making extra money, for he was a thief (John 12:6). He likely believed that Jesus would easily escape (Matthew 27:3-4).

What tempted Moses to smite the rock rather than speak to it? His unusual angry feelings at the rebellion of the Israelites (Numbers 20:7-13; Psalm 106:32-33).

What tempted Jesus in His temptations by Satan? His hungry feelings by the bread; His royal fortune by the world; and His identity fleece by the temple (Luke 4:1-13).

What is the temptation of not getting a job interview a month into a job search? We are tempted by fleece God has ruled against it and feelings that prayer is hopeless.

Should you cast lots about attending church Sunday? Reading your Bible tomorrow? Choosing between a godly and ungodly spouse? What is this error? A fleece.

What is happening when a person praying about a car they should not have finds one for sale nearby? The Lord is using fleece to test that person's faith and obedience.

What if you met a perfect unbeliever by chance, loved each other passionately and constantly, and they had rich and kind parents? God is testing you (II Cor 6:14).

What if you were given a job by great chance, was just what you wanted to do, and paid more than you had imagined, but required compromise? God is testing you.

What do we say of the Bible when we use a fleece in a thing clearly stated? We despise it and tempt God by asking for a fleece in a matter already answered in writing.

What do we conclude? Rejecting fleeces, feelings, and greed, choose your desired way by Scripture and trust God for details (Pr 16:9; Jas 4:13-15; Ru 2:3; Ps 127:1-2).

If we seek a fleece, we tempt God; if we follow feelings, we will be deceived; if we seek worldly gain, we will lose our lives. Faith trusts God and His perfect Word.

If two options are both equally wise by Scripture, what methods complete our wise decision? A multitude of counselors, our desire, and then maybe a prayerful fleece.