By James J. Jackson
Many of the TV game shows are based upon human greed. On the show ‘Deal or No Deal’, one can increase their winnings by making just the right choices of suitcases. ‘Jeopardy’ allows one to wager all of their money (or even more than they have) in order to increase their take.
The granddaddy of them all was the funny and entertaining ‘Let’s Make A Deal’, in which people who had just won what was often a very nice prize, was immediately tempted by the host, Monty Hall, to trade in a sure prize for what was behind a door on stage. Sometimes the gamble resulted in a nicer prize, but more often than not, it would result in a pile of hay, or something equally useless.
Life is a constant system of choices and decisions. We strive to make the wisest choices. Quite often, our motivation for making the choice we made results in unintended consequences. When we are motivated by greed, we sometimes face the consequence of losing what we already had, rather than gaining what we sought. When faced with any major decision, it is best to consult the One who really knows best.
As a friend of mine often says, “The best way to find out what’s on the other side of the hill is to ask the one who made the hill’. Asking for God’s help is always a great procedure to follow when making any decision or choice. Of course, many choices can be discerned simply by looking into His word. Other choices must be made under the umbrella of trust.
One of the greatest illustration of this kind of decision-making took place in the Biblical story of King Solomon. God told Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” when Solomon answered that he only desired the wisdom and knowledge to lead his people in a manner pleasing to God, The Creator of the Universe told him that since Solomon had not asked for a long life, personal riches, the death of his enemies, or other human desires, God would make him he wisest man to ever live.
God rewarded Solomon’s humility and selflessness in a way the King could not even imagine. When faced with a choice, it would do us well to choose wisdom rather than material wealth; to choose God’s discernment rather than our own understanding, and to humble ourselves and place ourselves under obedience to God and His laws.
He tells us in His word that, if we seek His face and follow His tenants, everything else we need will be added unto us. It is extremely difficult to just wait upon the will of the Lord, and our human nature constantly tells us that we have all the answers, or that God will not answer, so we must go it alone.
It is easy to wager what we have to try to get more, and it is easy to listen to Satan’s voice, telling us that we deserve more than we have, or even that God wants us to have whatever our heart desires. This dangerous council goes against what God, Himself says in His word. We are to lean on Him for our needs, and He promises to provide. Since He knows better than we, and He knows what’s in the ‘box on the stage’. He may withhold something that we see as a blessing, because He knows it may have a destructive effect on us, or lead us away from Him into a dangerous lifestyle or place. Trusting in Him and not our own understanding or luck, is the best ‘bet’.