Blaming Others for Our Mistakes Comes from Our Sin Nature
Jeremiah prophesies judgment against the people in Jerusalem for their idolatry. God has had enough, and he will punish them for turning from him and pursuing other gods. Specifically, many women are burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out their drink offerings to her.
Interestingly, the Queen of Heaven only shows up five times in the Bible, all in the book of Jeremiah, with four occurrences in this chapter alone. From Scripture we know nothing about the Queen of Heaven, except that some people worship her instead of God.
When confronted over their spiritual adultery, the people aren’t convicted of their sin. Instead, they double down and pledge to continue worshipping the Queen of Heaven.
As far as the women taking an active part in this idolatrous worship, they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. It’s not their fault, they insist. They blame their spouses. Since their husbands knew what they were doing and didn’t stop them, it’s the guys’ fault.
Adam and Eve
Does this blaming of others sound familiar?
It first happened back in the Garden of Eden, with the very first sin in the world. Adam and Eve do precisely what God told them not to do. They eat fruit from the one forbidden tree.
When God points out their mistake, Adam blames his wife. “She gave me the fruit,” he says.
Eve follows his example. She blames the serpent. (See Genesis 3:1-19.)
Their example continues throughout history. When caught in wrongdoing, people seek to shift responsibility to someone—or something—else. Though we might attribute this to human nature, it’s more correct to call it sin nature. When our sin is uncovered, we add to it by sinning again when we try to deflect our fault elsewhere.
Even Moses did this.
Variations of the Blame Game
Adam blames his wife for his sin because she gave him the forbidden fruit.
The women in Jeremiah’s time blame their husbands because they knew what their wives were doing.
Today we see more ways to play this blame game.
One version is, “but everyone else is doing it.”
A second form is, “it’s my parent’s fault,” also known as “it’s the way I was raised.”
A final one is “I was born this way.”
We also point an accusatory finger at our environment, circumstances, or socioeconomic conditions.
But when we sin, the only true responsibility falls to us and us alone. We did it, and we are at fault.
Fortunately, we don’t need to let the weight of our sins break us. Jesus died as the permanent payment for our mistakes. When we follow him and become his disciple, he takes away the penalty of our sin and makes us right with Father God.
Thank you, Jesus, for taking away our sins.
[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Jeremiah 41-45 and today’s post is on Jeremiah 44:19.]
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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