Articles Israelites Worship the Golden Calf

Published on June 24th, 2016 | by Andrew Gwinn

Why It’s Important to Make Good Decisions





Did you know that one decision can completely change the course of your life? One–just one–decision can completely wreck your life. In the same way, one decision can also save your life from disaster.

This is why learning the Art of Good Decision Making is so important.

It wasn’t until I started to read 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles that I started to grasp this reality. Let me show you some examples.

In 1 Kings 12, you will find the split of Israel into the northern and southern kingdoms. Rehoboam son of Solomon ruled the southern kingdom, comprised of Judah and Benjamin, while Jeroboam son of Nebat reigned the northern kingdom, composed of the other ten tribes of Israel.

1 Kings 12:26-29 is where the trouble begins. Verses 26 and 27 read: Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”

Now Jeroboam is in a dilemma. If he doesn’t do anything about it, he thinks he will lose the kingdom and get stoned to death. But if he does do something about it, it would mean either prohibiting temple worship, or making new gods for Israel. Little did he know that this one decision would not only affect his generation, but also many generations after him.

In verse 28 and 29, he makes his decision.

After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan.

Jeroboam’s bad decision to make two golden calves and set them up as Israel’s gods led his people into immorality. Not only that, but the eighteen kings after Jeroboam followed his example and worshiped the gods he had set up. His one decision lead the Kingdom of Israel into moral corruptness for 241 years!

Think about that for a moment.

Then think about how quickly we are to make bad moral decisions everyday! We have no clue as to what effect that might have in the future.

For this reason we should very carefully make our decisions. I’m not talking about the decision of what to have for breakfast or lunch, but rather the moral dilemmas that face us everyday. The, “Am I going to choose to do good or evil?” kind of decisions.

I would advise you all to do what Proverbs 4:26 says. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. (Emphasis added.)

Next time you face a situation to choose right or wrong, think carefully about your decision. I’ll challenge you to write down what you chose and the outcome of that choice. If you decided to do what was wrong, I’m sure you won’t want to make the same mistake next time.

And if you record all the benefits of doing what was right, even if they might not be immediate, you will be much quicker to chose what is right.

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

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Photo courtesy of Andy and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the Author

is a thirteen-year-old and loves chess, parkour, photography, and jumping on the trampoline with his two younger brothers. Andrew wants to make a difference in the lives of others and hopes to one day go into tribal missions. Each day he is striving to become more like Christ.



  • Hannah T.

    Thanks for this article, Andrew! Sometimes we don’t realize that our decisions affect the future and mess up terribly. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Andrew Gwinn

      Your welcome. Thanks for the post.

  • Zipporah

    Wonderful article! Discisions are so powerful! It is crazy how one man’s choice affected many many people. Thank you for this article!

    • Andrew Gwinn

      It is pretty crazy! 241 years is long time.

      • Zipporah

        Yeah, a REALLY long time. The affects of that decision were still in play even after the decision maker’s death!

  • Kate

    Thank you for that reminder, Andrew!!

  • Anne

    Yes, thank you for this wonderful reminder! Like @disqus_pDKExTt6f6:disqus said, it’s crazy how one man’s choice affected generations after him. Really great article! :)

  • Aaron C.

    Wow… I’ve read this in the Bible before, but this article really sheds a different light on the text. I’ve never thought about how Jeroboam’s decision shows how making decisions are important. This is a great article, and I’ll be sure to take your challenge!

    • Andrew Gwinn

      Thanks for taking the challenge and tell me if it helps you.

      • Aaron C.

        Andrew,
        Taking the challenge has been pretty helpful. This challenge has allowed me to think more about the consequences of my decisions. Every decision comes with consequences, and the consequences can either be good or bad. By thinking about the outcomes of my decisions, I started making wiser choices.

        For example, one weekend my two brothers decided they wanted to play Wii, and I wanted to play too. However, I needed to complete some chores. I can be a procrastinator at times, and I was tempted to put off my chores for later, but I knew the work had to be done.
        Then I started thinking about how my decision would affect the future. What would happen if I played Wii instead of doing chores? The bathroom wouldn’t be clean, my family would probably complain about it, and I would have to clean the bathroom at a later time.
        But if I did do chores instead of play Wii, I could have the bathroom clean for people to use. And who knows? Maybe I could even play Wii after I finished cleaning!

        I decided to do my chores and clean the bathroom, and I got finished in time to play Wii with my brothers. Doing chores over playing Wii was definitely the right decision, and this challenge has reminded me to think about my choices and how they affect my future. Thank you Andrew. :)
        ~ Aaron

  • Wow, great job Andrew!! That was a really good reminder! You’re so much more mature than I was at your age. Thanks so much for sharing that article!

    • Andrew Gwinn

      I’m glad to share! Thank you.

  • Seriously, and we should pay a lot more attention to the Book of Proverbs. One way to operationalize this is to spend 10 minutes at the end of every day and think about what we said and did and whether we would be happy doing the same things all over again if we had to repeat the day. Such an internal audit is essential for building a more Jesus-centered life.

    • Andrew Gwinn

      I like this idea. Also, a chapter of Proverbs a day is also helpful for making good decisions.

  • This is so good, thank you!

  • Jalen Barbour

    Such a great article, thanks Andrew!

    • Andrew Gwinn

      Thanks!

  • MANonFIRE

    ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

    Maybe there is something to this ‘decision’ stuff after all…

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