GREAT DECISIONS OF THE BIBLE
Our lives are filled with many different decisions that must be made. Some, we might say, are not all that important, while others are of utmost importance. At times, the decisions we must make may well result in life or death results, or have a major impact upon eternity. Quite often, when we are called upon to make important decisions, we do not know how to respond in order to make the proper decision. Decision-making can become very confusing at times as we try to determine what we should or should not do. A study of some of the great decisions made by men of the Bible can help us in our decision-making.
It does not take long, as one reads their Bible, to come to the third chapter of Genesis where we find Adam and Eve confronted with a very important decision. That decision was whether to obey God’s command concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In Genesis 2:17, God had been specific in what He expected of them. However, in Genesis 3:1-5 we note Eve was confronted with the decision of whether to obey God or to follow the enticing words of Satan. Near the beginning of life on earth, we see that Eve was called upon to make an important decision that would affect mankind for eternity. By study of Genesis chapter three, we note that both Adam and Eve were given the chance to choose either right or wrong, and that both of them made the wrong choice. Eve’s wrong decision was influenced by her human desire to be wise, as is seen in Genesis 3:6. Adam, on the other hand, chose to listen to Eve rather than God. Because of their wrong decisions, Adam and Eve were to have many consequences to face as is seen in Genesis 3:16-19. The Apostle Paul shows that not only did Adam and Eve face the consequences of their actions, but so must man also, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). God had said to Adam, that if he took of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. That is exactly what happened as both experienced an immediate and long range result of their transgression. Adam and Eve both experienced spiritual “death” at the precise moment of their transgression, and both later experienced physical death as a result of their error. Their actions, as such, set the stage for all humanity to experience similar results from their actions. The decisions that we make today affect us personally and may affect many generations of our families that are not even born yet. Thus, we should realize that as we make decisions, we should weigh them carefully in view of what God has said.
Another great decision found within the pages of the Book of Genesis was the decision made by Lot to choose the well watered plains of the Jordan. From Genesis 13:5-9 we note a problem had arisen within the ranks of the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot. The decision was made to allow Lot to choose which direction he would go with his family, his herdsmen, and his cattle. From Genesis 13:10-13 we see that Lot looked out over the well watered plains of the Jordan and chose that as the place where he would go. No doubt, as he looked over this area he thought to himself that he was making a wise decision. He may have thought that he had “pulled one over” on Abraham. However, he didn’t! As we can see later in the Book of Genesis his decision to go in the direction that he did landed him in Sodom, where his family was put in jeopardy (Genesis 19:1-26). In his seeking for the many material things that he assumed would come from his choice of directions to go, he failed to consider every aspect of his decision. He allowed his desire for material things take precedence over the more important things in his life. As we read this story, let us be cautioned to be sure that we have our priorities right when it comes to the rearing of our families.
Later, in the Book of Genesis, we read that Abraham was called upon to make a decision that would affect humanity forever. His decision was whether he had the faith to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice as instructed by God, as seen in Genesis 22:1-3. This decision would be a tremendous one for him since he had waited so long to have this child. As we consider these passages, we realize that there was a great test of faith for both Abraham and Isaac. From the words of the writer of the Book of Hebrews we learn that both made the right decision (Hebrews 11:17-19). In examination of their decisions, let us be careful to choose wisely so as to have the faith God would have us to have to live the lives He would have us to live.
By study of Moses' life, we find that he had to decide as to what to be. His decision was whether to live in luxury in Pharaoh's palace, or to follow the Hebrew lineage that was taught unto him by his mother. As we consider decisions, we should realize that this would be a great one to have to make. Choosing whether to live a life of having everything you want, or choosing to be without everything does not seem to be an easy decision to make. From the words of the inspired writer of the Book of Hebrews we are provided the answer as to which choice Moses made, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;" (Hebrews 11:25). There can be no doubt that Moses had much to give up, but he did so any way. Why did he make such a choice? The answer is also found in the Book of Hebrews, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;" (Hebrews 11:24). Moses' decision to do right came from within and not from without. From this we learn the need to make important decisions in life based upon our faith which comes from God's Word (Romans 10:17).
In Joshua chapter 24, we note that Joshua was faced with a great decision. That decision was related to who he would choose to follow in life, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15). As we consider this decision, we see that it was based upon the fact that the Lord was the True God, and had done so much for Joshua and Israel. This same fact should cause us to make the right decision when faced with such. If God is God, then this settles the matter. We should be either infidels or faithful followers of God. The very nature of this issue leaves no room for a middle position. We are either for or against the Lord (Matthew 12:30).
We find, as a study of the Old Testament is made, that King Saul was faced with a great decision in 1 Samuel 15. Saul was told by the Lord to destroy all of the Amalekites, "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." (1 Samuel 15:3). As such, he was confronted with the decision of whether to do as God instructed, or to do, as others desired. From a further study of this chapter we see that Saul, unwisely, decided to follow the desires of others, "And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice." (1 Samuel 15:24). Considering Old Testament teachings, we realize that Saul should have feared God and not man, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecclesiastes 12:13). From this we learn the need to make sure our decisions are determined by what God says rather than by what man says.
Moving on to the New Testament, we note that Jesus made numerous important decisions while living here on earth. In Matthew chapter 4, we note that He was placed in the position where He had to make some of the greatest decisions of His life. Consider Matthew 4:3, 6, 8, 9 and note that in each of these confrontations with the Devil, Jesus chose to submit to the will of God as found within Scriptures. In the Garden, prior to His betrayal, Jesus faced a great decision as He prayed, "…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39).
And, finally, Pilate had to decide an answer to his own question, "Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?…" (Matthew 27:22) "Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified." (Matthew 27:26). Each day of our lives we must answer the question of "what shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?" Lets be sure to make the proper decision.