Big Mistakes in Bible Times
Perhaps you are aware, our political system is currently in disarray following some unpopular decisions at home and abroad. I have been thinking about the implications poor judgement has for all of us, and these examples from the Bible that illustrate the point:
Adam and Eve were given a choice in the Garden of Eden. They could have obeyed God and lived in paradise forever, but instead they rebelled and were cast out. God redeemed Adam and Eve and helped them pick up the pieces of their tragedy, but the trajectory of their lives and our world were forever changed.
In a fit of anger, Cain rose up against his brother Abel in a field. Cain was jealous because God had preferred Abel’s sacrifice over his own. There were many ways Cain could have processed his jealousy, but he chose violence and killed Abel. Relationships between human beings have never been the same.
When King Solomon died, his older, wiser counselors recommended to his son and successor, Rehoboam, that he back off on his public projects. Solomon had taxed his kingdom too hard, and it was time for a break. However, some of Rehoboam’s young buddies had a different opinion. They believed he should be more demanding of his nation, to show people who was boss! The plan backfired and the ten northern tribes of Israel succeeded. The nation of Israel never recovered.
In the early church, a husband and wife by the name of Ananias and Sapphira decided to embellish a contribution they had made to the church. The gift they gave was theirs to keep or give, but their lie threatened the purity of the early church, prompting God to strike them dead. Yup. It really happened. Be careful when you report your charitable contributions on your tax return.
During the time of the early church, there was a king by the name of Herod Agrippa. Herod was the grandson of Herod the Great, the Herod who wanted to kill baby Jesus. Herod Agrippa was extremely arrogant, and one day he dressed in some flashy royal clothing and emerged to make a speech to his people. The crowd shouted, “The voice of god, and not of a mortal.” But an angel of the Lord struck Herod down as he was speaking, and the Bible says because he didn’t honor God, he was eaten by worms and died. In that order. If only Herod had hired a smarter speech writer.
There are many other bad decisions found within the pages of the Bible. Many of them became pivotal points in history. It is very hard to take back a bad decision, which means we should seek wisdom and good counsel when we are presented with important choices. The more arrogant we become and the less willing we are to listen to others, the more likely we are to do something stupid.
I am reminded of Proverbs 11:14: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.” (Proverbs 11:14) Smart people can go far on their own intellect and experience, but sooner or later, without wise counsel, they will fail.
The good news is, God accepts us when we make bad decisions, and redeems us for His purposes. But if we can limit the collateral damage we cause in the lives of others, life will be even better.
We all make mistakes, but those who refuse to admit their mistakes and listen to wisdom are just plain…