Ministry Resources

Decisive Moments

Author: Dave Beroth

In 1983, Coca-Cola was losing the market-share battle with Pepsi. They made a decision to launch New Coke. But consumers boycotted, and just three months later, Coke brought back Coca-Cola Classic. By 1986, they were back on top.

All of us are confronted with various decisions to make on a daily basis. Some are small and of minor consequence, while others are huge and potentially life changing. Some are simple and obvious choices; others are more difficult and painstaking.

In her book, Unthinkable, reporter Amanda Ripley investigated why some people survive disasters and others don’t. After examining fires, floods, hurricanes, and airplane crashes, interviewing dozens of survivors, she found three phases on the journey from danger to safety: denial, deliberation and what she calls “the decisive moment.”

If you have ever read the book of 2 Samuel, you have likely made observations about David, arguably Israel’s greatest king. When David finally became king, the results of Saul’s 40-year reign still echoed throughout Israel. Saul’s meltdown compromised his ability to maintain spiritual priorities. Consequently, a particular piece of furniture got separated from the central place of worship.

Enemies of Israel confiscated it. This was a big deal. For David and Israel, that furniture – the Ark of the Covenant, represented the priority and presence of God in their lives.

This was a decisive moment, so one of David’s first decisions as king of Israel was to go and get the Ark of the Covenant and bring it back to Jerusalem. David took action. Yet, at this point, David was not enthusiastic on due diligence. He was only focused on getting the ark. “Who cares how it’s done, just do it!”

I heard it said, “Don’t just stand there, do something, even if it’s wrong.” That is the dumbest advice anyone could give.

David would learn the hard way. The right decision done the wrong way can end in disaster at worst or added difficulty at best. (2 Samuel 6) Just knowing the right thing to do is not enough. With David’s decision, the details mattered.

Because it was David’s desire to have God be the central priority of Israel’s experience, God gave him a second chance. This time, for David, the right thing done the right way brought blessing. This time it was more about God than about David.

How can you use David’s experience to make better decisions this week?

What might go better by giving attention to the details?

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