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 (or circumstances) Feelings (or heart) Fortune (or success) Fad (or popularity) Faith (or Bible wisdom)
Gideon (Judges 6:36-40) Amnon (II Samuel 13:1-16) Lot (Genesis 13:10-11) Saul (I Sam 15:19-26) Abraham (Hebrews 11:8)
He knew God’s will, but wanted signs Love and hate caused sinful choices He chose riches and lost everything He pleased people and lost Israel He went to a new land by faith only
Looking for signs or outside indicators Allows emotions to influence decisions Thinking selfishly for short-term benefit The desire to be accepted by others Trusts God and His Word absolutely
Choosing by circumstances or Fate Choosing by intuition or infatuation Choosing for an advantage or your gain The world’s peer pressure to conform Believes God is and He rewards seekers
Valuing results others have achieved Also sentimentality, lust, pity, or desire. We call it ambition, covetousness, greed Love of family/friends to compromise Bible is perfect manual for life choices
Exalting coincidences or chance events Follow your heart? Be true to yourself? Pride, self-love, discontent, emulation Valuing trends above ancient landmarks Reject signs, feelings, fortune, or fads
Horoscopes, Ouija boards, or psychics I have peace about it? It just feels right? It is making choices to promote yourself The fear of standing alone traps men Bible alone to answer every question
Prosperity of fools deceives (Pr 1:32) Only fools trust their hearts (Pr 28:26) Earthly is belly worship (Phil 3:18-19) Bad friends hurt (I Cor 15:33; Pr 13:20) God is better than your heart (Pr 3:5-6)
Fear or worry are distracting (Ec 11:4) The heart deceives above all (Jer 17:9) Contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:5-6) Following a multitude is sin (Ex 23:2) God is better than a fortune (He 11:26)
God’s silence can fool you (Ps 50:21) What feels right is wrong (Prov 14:12) Love of money corrupts (I Tim 6:6-10) Fear of man brings a snare (Pr 29:25) God is better than a fleece (Luke 5:5-7)
Pagans look to the heavens (Jer 10:2) We must hate all but God (Luke 14:26) Losing is winning (Matt 16:25; 19:29) Aaron, Josaphat, Pilate, Festus, Peter God is better than a fad (Ps 73:25-26)
God condemns all such (Deut 18:9-14) Corinth disliked judging (I Cor 5:1-2) Liberality brings returns (Pr 11:24-26) Joshua, Caleb, and Daniel stood strong Faith pleases God well (He 11:1-2,5-6)
Israel took the ark to battle (I Sam 4:3) Hate date feelings (Pr 6:23-25; 31:30) Eve, Achan, Ahab, and Demas all failed Avoid fools (Pr 1:10-15; 4:14-15; 14:7) Scripture is final (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20)
Enemies changed locale (I Kgs 20:23) Chasten against any crying (Pro 19:18) World’s friend or God’s enemy (Ja 4:4) Family must be second (Matt 10:34-37) David trusted God (I Sa 26:6-12; 30:6)
David had fleece of Saul in his hands twice, with feelings of revenge, for the fortune of the throne God had given him, with the fad of nephews begging (I Sam 24 & 26)!
- What tempted Joseph when Mrs. Potiphar solicited him? 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 in Israel (Heb 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 may have believed that Jesus would easily escape (Matt 27:3-4).
- What tempted Moses to smite the rock rather than speak to it? His unusual angry feelings at the rebellion of the complaining Israelites (Num 20:7-13; Ps 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 that God has ruled against it and feelings that prayer is vain.
- 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 much, with very rich parents, which everyone adored? God is testing you by all four errors (II Cor 6:14).
- What if you chanced into a job that others craved, was just what you wanted to do, and paid more than any other, but required compromise? Again, God is testing you.
- What do we say about the Bible, if we use a fleece in things clearly stated? We despise it and tempt God by asking for direction in a matter already answered in writing.
- What do we conclude? Reject fleeces, feelings, fortune, fads; 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 use a fleece, we tempt God; if we follow feelings, we can be deceived; if we seek worldly gain, we will lose our lives. Faith trusts God over any man or all men.
- What do we conclude? Obeying God and seeking His kingdom first are essential basics to decisions (Ps 37:4; 128:1-4; Pr 28:13; Eccl 12:13-14; Hag 2:5-11; Matt 6:33).
- If two options are equal in light of Scripture, what process makes the final decision? The liberty of your desire, a multitude of counselors, and maybe a prayerful fleece!