Making Bad Decisions

Scripture:   I Samuel 8:1-18, 12:22-24

I.    Vs 1-9                        Signs of a Bad Decision
It has been said “that the quality of your life will be the result of the 
decisions you make.” This biblical narrative outlines the bad decisions that 
were made by the elders of the nation of Israel. The elders wanted a king, 
because Samuel was old and his sons were corrupt. They walked not in his ways, 
would do anything for money, took bribes, and perverted justice. Life is full 
of decisions, but as believers these decisions must be approved by the Lord. 
Any decision not approved by God is a bad decision, so never judge a decision 
strictly based upon the results. Let us review some signs of a bad decision. 
The request/decision from the elders (nation) was unbiblical, because they 
wanted to be like all the other nations. Their motive for wanting a King was 
wrong, because being like the world is not approved by the Lord. This decision 
violated God’s will because they were rejecting the Lord. Refusing to line up 
with God’s will is a form of rebellion, because they no longer wanted the Lord 
to reign over the nation. Wanting a king was the fruit, but rejecting God was 
the root. You see a decision on the surface can look good to others, but the 
Lord will be the final judge. This decision dishonored the Lord and was a form 
of idolatry, because they served other gods and had forsaken the Lord. Your 
decisions should glorify the Lord, bring you closer to him, and make you more 
like Christ. This decision harmed others and made the situation worse. Having 
a king was not the issue (Deuteronomy 17:14-15), but the issues were finding a 
new judge and idolatry within the nation. *Point: Don’t ignore the signs and 
the Lord must approve your decisions.

II.    Vs. 10-18              Consequences of a Bad Decision
When you go shopping at the mall the merchandise at every store has a price 
tag and every decision has a price tag. Before you make a decision, have a 
little talk with Jesus. Because Samuel discussed the matter with the Lord, the
Lord outlined the consequences of the bad decision that Israel was about to 
make. Samuel begged them to change their mind, but they refused. So, Israel 
was about “to get what they wanted, but lose what they had.” The new king was 
going to start a military draft, over work and under pay the people, mistreat 
the women, take their land (eminent domain), enforce high taxes and forced labor. The 
new king was (and he will take) going to take, take, take, and take. This new 
king was going to hurt Israel and his motto was not going to be lead the 
people, but bleed the people. This is not the worse part of the story, because 
a bad decision is expensive. Israel had a king, but not the King of Kings. The 
Lord said that he “wouldn’t hear them or help them.” Psalm 66:18 says that “If 
I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” The Lord told 
Israel that he was not going to answer the phone, so when they cried out the 
call would go straight to voice mail. The message would say “If this is Israel 
don’t leave a message, because the Lord is not going to call you back.” Before 
you make a decision count the cost. *Point: Decisions come with a price and a 
consequence, so make good decisions.

III.    Vs. 12:22-24              Grace & Mercy is Available
I have made bad financial decisions in the past and had to pay a stupid tax. 
Well praise the Lord, because I have learned to make better decisions with the 
Lord’s money. The good news is that despite your bad decisions the Lord still 
makes his grace and mercy available. You made a bad decision, but the Lord 
will not forsake his people. Bad decisions may change your circumstances, but 
the Lord will not change (he will not stop being God in your life). His name 
is great and it was his decision to make us his people. So, when you make a 
bad decision follow Samuel’s example and pray. Ask the Lord to teach you the 
good and right way (decision). Don’t let the consequences of your decision 
cause you to not serve (obey) the Lord or fear him with all you heart. 
Finally, remember the decision may not have been good but, God is good and all 
the time God is good. *Point: Make good decisions and the steps of a good man 
are ordered by the Lord.

I hope this was a blessing to you.

Because He Lives
Bro. Mack