Are You Shifting The Blame?

“The people spoke against God and Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.” (Numbers 21:5)

Numbers 21:4 says the people of Israel “became impatient because of the journey” in the wilderness. But as people often do, they vented their anger in the wrong direction. Verse 5 says that “The people spoke against God and Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die …’.” Why were they blaming “God and Moses”? The reason they were dying in the wilderness was entirely their own fault. Numbers 14 tells us that the people refused to enter the Canaan at the direction of the Lord through Moses, so God sentenced them to die in the wilderness instead of inheriting the Promised Land (14:35).  It was not God’s fault they were floundering and dying in the wilderness. It was their own.

But like many of us today, the people of Israel were looking for someone else to blame. It can be hard to own up to our mistakes, so we often look to “shift the blame” to someone else: our spouse, child, a supervisor, co-worker, classmate — or even, like Israel here, to God Himself.

Are you doing this? Are you suffering the consequences of your own disobedience to God in some area of your life, but you have not been willing to admit it? Is there someone you have been angry with — maybe even God? — instead of admitting that you have brought this upon yourself? If so, you never will make any progress before God or man, until you first stop trying to shift the blame.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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