WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 10, 2021
TOPIC: AVOID EMOTIONAL DECISION-MAKING
BY T. O. BANSO
“David had said to his troops, ‘Whoever leads the attack against the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!’ And Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, led the attack, so he became the commander of David’s armies” (1 Chronicles 11:6 New Living Translation).
Studies have shown that emotions influence decision-making. But we must not allow our emotions to make our decisions, especially on major issues, because emotions are fickle. They can change so quickly. There is wisdom in avoiding making major decisions when you’re experiencing strong emotions.
Be careful of the decisions you make when you’re tired, joyful, excited, sad, disappointed, overwhelmed, angry, or experiencing strong emotions. Otherwise, you may make wrong decisions. Don’t allow your emotions to override your sense of reasoning or judgment. Don’t allow your emotions have the better part of you.
1 Chronicles 11:6 says, “David had said to his troops, ‘Whoever leads the attack against the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!’ And Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, led the attack, so he became the commander of David’s armies” (New Living Translation).
What made David throw such a challenge? Was it because the people of Jebus told him he would never get in to them? (Verse 5). Emotions will affect the quality of your decision and the speed of taking decisions. Often, emotional decisions are taken rashly, as in this case, without considering other essential factors. It may give room to opportunists.
Although it is not so stated in the Bible, I feel David didn’t think deeply before throwing this challenge that led to Joab’s appointment as the commander of his army. Joab led the attack against Jebus, apparently climbing up by way of the water shaft (2 Samuel 5:8). And David’s men defeated the Jebusites.
Significantly, David’s army had mighty men, thirty-seven in all, whose list is given in 2 Samuel 23:8-39 and 1 Chronicles 11:10-47. Joab’s name is omitted despite all his military exploits, probably because of his character problem. This is unfortunate. Solomon said Abner, Saul’s army commander, and Amasa, both murdered by Job, were more righteous and better than him (1 Kings 2:32).
Maybe if David had thought carefully about the qualities someone occupying that important position should possess, he might not have chosen Joab. No doubt, Joab was a very courageous, capable, and decisive soldier; it didn’t mean he was the best. Perhaps David shouldn’t have used one heroic feat to decide on who became the commander of his army. Probably, he should have considered other leadership qualities.
Joab, the son of David’s sister, remained a thorn in his flesh until his death. Mourning the gruesome murder of Abner by Joab, evidently, with the consent of his brother, Abishai (2 Samuel 3:30), David said, “And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too harsh for me” (verse 39).
After the rebellion of Absalom was quelled, David had announced Amasa, his nephew, to replace Joab as the commander of his army (2 Samuel 19:13). Amasa was also Joab’s cousin. Though this could be seen as a good diplomatic move, I think David should have been careful about this, knowing the kind of person Joab was. Would he take his removal kindly?
Amasa was the commander of the rebel army of Absalom (2 Samuel 17:25). In order to facilitate his return to Jerusalem after the death of Absalom, David tried to woo the support of the people of Judah. He sent a message to the elders of Judah to challenge them to take steps to get him back to his house.
Apparently forgiving Amasa for being the commander of Absalom’s army, David also sent a message to Amasa. “And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’ So he swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah, just as the heart of one man, so that they sent this word to the king: ‘Return, you and all your servants!’” (2 Samuel 19:12-14 New King James Version).
After David had returned to Jerusalem as king, Amasa replaced Joab as commander of David’s army. Joab, the former commander of David’s army, remained in the army. He sabotaged David’s interest by killing Amasa, his successor, with a sword, obviously out of envy (2 Samuel 20:9-12).
Before making the choice, David should have thought about the implications or consequences of replacing Joab, knowing the type of character he was – a revengeful, ruthless person. It appeared to be a hasty, emotional decision. Joab, who had been loyal to David all along, later supported Adonijah, David’s son, as king (1Kings 1:7). Their success was short-lived as David made Solomon king instead. Beware of emotional decision-making, especially on serious matters.
Also, Herod was guilty of making a costly emotional decision on his birthday. Matthew 14:6-7 says, “But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask” (New King James Version). Advised by her mother, the girl asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Matthew 14:9 said, “And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her” (New King James Version). The king regretted his action. Because the king had made an emotional decision, John the Baptist had to die.
If the king had controlled his emotion, Herodias who had an axe to grind with John the Baptist wouldn’t have taken advantage of his rash decision to tell her daughter to ask for the head of this great prophet on a platter.
Furthermore, King Xerxes took a rash decision when he was in high spirits because of wine – half drunk with wine (Esther 1:10). He commanded the seven eunuchs who served in his presence to bring Queen Vashti before him wearing her royal crown, to display her beauty to those present because she was beautiful to behold (verses 10-11).
It was unlikely that he would have given such a command if not that he was under the influence of alcohol. That was probably why Queen Vashti refused to be brought by his eunuchs, which angered the half-drunk king.
Esther was eventually deposed as queen. However, the Bible says, “But after Xerxes’ anger had cooled, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made” (Esther 2:1 New Living Translation). This suggests that the king, most probably, regretted his action, including the removal of Esther as queen. But unfortunately, he couldn’t reverse or rescind it because the law of the Persians and Medes could not be revoked (Esther 1:19). Don’t take decisions based solely on your emotions.
Beware of the decision you make when you, happy, excited, sad, tired, etc. Don’t rush to take decisions. Take the issue to God in prayer. Consider what the Word of God says on the issue and readily do it. Consider the facts. Count the cost. Take counsel from the right people. Deal with your fear.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, I receive Your help to make the right decisions always and not be controlled by my emotions. Help me to avoid decisions that will lead to regret later in life.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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