January 07, 2008


Deuteronomy 5:1-5

It was not with our fathers ... but with us ... The Lord spoke to you face to face.
Deuteronomy 5:3-4


"It's not my fault! I grew up in the wrong neighborhood. My teacher was no good. The government didn't help." We blame our problems on tobacco companies, alcohol distilleries, drug companies, and more. The blame game, as old as Adam and Eve, enlists new players with every child that is born.

"No excuses," Moses says to Israel. "God spoke to you. You've heard his words. You have your marching orders. When the moment comes to enter and live in the land, you know what to do. When in Canaan," Moses says to God's people, "do not do as your ancestors did in the desert, nor as the Canaanites do!"

Knowing God's Word brings an awareness that we cannot blame others for our failures to do what is right. Blaming others for the predicaments we find ourselves in only wastes energy. All that matters is this: Now that you have heard God's voice, what is your response?

The sins of our ancestors may powerfully echo in our lives. Generations of abused and addicted persons know this. But God's people are no longer mere victims of a sinful past.

Be responsible and confess your own sins. Place your sins on the only innocent victim who carries the blame of all the world's misery: Jesus Christ. Be responsible and admit you have received the Word of truth.

Dear Lord, rescue me from the misery of blaming others for my sin. Help me to admit my own guilt and to bring it to you for forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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