The blame game
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Genesis 3:12-13 (NLT)
As the old saying goes: ‘the serpent did not have a leg to stand on.’ Who could the serpent blame?
Blaming – the fine art of making others responsible for difficult things that happen. Some aspects of society could be fairly described as exemplifying the ‘blame game’. Reality TV shows feed us scenes of characters blaming one another; the news is awash with stories about how societal problems are the fault of politicians. It’s fair to say we play the blame game from children to adults, to one degree or another.
But how did the blame game start? For us humans, you could say it began in the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve failed to heed God in Genesis 3:6, and chose to act in another way that looked better to them. All of God’s commands are for our own good, but we may not understand fully how and why. Adam blamed Eve for their disobedience; Eve blamed the serpent. How easy is it to excuse our sins by blaming someone else, or circumstances?
Later in the Bible story we see the blame game being played out by Aaron who made the golden calf. Aaron sought to put the blame on the people and the fire. Exodus 32:23-24 tells us: “They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!”
Was that really true? Well, from the beginning of this story (Exodus 32:1) we can see obviously not: there was a long wait for Moses to come back down the mountain; the gathering around Aaron; the request that Aaron make gods to lead them; and Aaron’s deliberate instruction to bring the jewellery of gold rings which he then used to make the golden calf.
And yet, despite this blame game, we see that Aaron wasn’t removed from his position as priest! Why? God had promised the Levitical priesthood to Aaron and his sons by a lasting ordinance (Exodus 29:9). And God spared him because of Moses’ intercession: ‘And the LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.’ (Deuteronomy 9:20 NIV).
If God destroyed his children – like Aaron, or Adam and Eve – every time they did something wrong, who would be left? But God is a forgiving God, as 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) tells us: ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’
Almighty God, thank you for your grace and forgiveness shown by the sacrifice of your son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Dennis Payne
About the writer:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the Central London congregation of Grace Communion International.
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