The Anointing of King Saul from christimages.org.
By Lisa Nordell-Detres
I have often told my teenage children that one bad decision could change the course of their lives forever. It is hard for grownups; much less children to conceptualize this idea since we make hundreds of mundane decisions every day that seem to have little effect farther than that of the moment. The fact is that our lives are shaped little by little each day as a result of the small choices we make as well as the big decisions.
The choice to obey God is always a good decision and to do otherwise will have negative consequences. We can learn patience and obedience from the example set long ago by King Saul, who chose to disobey God during the second year of his reign in Israel. Because of his disobedience, the royal succession in his family was terminated. God selected King David to rule instead of Saul’s family. (I Samuel 13:8-14)
We can learn faithfulness from King David by the way he served God wholeheartedly throughout his lifetime. David’s unfaithfulness to his own family caused his home life to spiral out of control, culminating with the attempted coups by David’s son, Absalom. David may have been a strong national leader, but it is apparent that he neglected his family in the process. (2 Samuel 11-14)
As children often repeat their parents’ sins in ways that are bigger and worse, Solomon took hundreds of wives and failed to remain faithful to God. The consequences of these choices were that his son Rehoboam would lose control over most of Israel, maintaining rule in Judah only.
When Rehoboam was crowned king of Israel, one of Solomon’s enemies who had been exiled to Egypt, Jeroboam returned to Israel and asked Rehoboam to lighten up on Him and the servant class of Israel. Rehoboam first sought the advice of the elders who had been his father Solomon’s advisors. They told him to be kind to them and they would be loyal servants forever. Rehoboam then asked his contemporaries for their advice and they told him to make life even more difficult for Jeroboam and Israel. Rehoboam went with the latter advice and the result was a divided Israel for the next thousand years. (2 Chronicles 10)
In just four generations, we can see the decline of a great nation as a direct result of poor decision making by its leaders. As we go through our days, we need to be extra mindful that our children are watching everything we say and do, especially the less-than-positive things. Will one misstep destroy our kids’ lives? Probably not, but over time, a pattern of unwise decision making on the part of parents can lead their children to believe that those poor decisions were quite all right, thus paving the way for the next generation of even worse choices.
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.