Blame and Bribe

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: 1 Samuel 15-16; Proverbs 17:1

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
1 Samuel 15:21 (NKJV)
“But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

Blame and bribe. Blaming the people, and bribing God – that’s what Saul tried to do. The Lord has given him very specific instructions to destroy everything. Perhaps Saul thought that he had already obeyed 90%. What a waste to kill all the livestock. Let’s keep the king alive as a prize catch – and show the neighboring nations what Israel was capable of. But when confronted by the prophet, Saul was quick to blame his subordinates for his disobedience. And he tried to bribe the Creator with creatures. How foolish!

Yes, foolish. That’s how I am sometimes. Instead of taking responsibility for my own failures, I try to find scapegoats. Blame the other person. Blame the weather. Blame the government. Blame God. But until I am able to be honest and take ownership, I will remain in my immaturity. I will keep finding excuses, and evade the matter at heart. Worse still, I will begin (like Saul) to think that perhaps I can get God on my side if I share some of my spoils with Him. Yes, I would become religious, yet unsaved. May God save me from such a tragic end!

Lord, help me to trust You enough to always do the right thing – even if it baffles my mind, and hurts my pride.