It’s Not My Fault

Read: 1 Samuel 15:13-31

I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me . . . But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen. (vv. 20-21)

A series of dams, privately built in the 1920s, were designed to create a series of lakes for homeowners and recreationists in Mid-Michigan. Over the years, ownership changed hands several times until Boyce Hydro Power bought it in 2006. Boyce Hydro maintained the tradition of minimal upkeep.

On May 19, 2020, the first dam breached, ultimately leading to catastrophic failure. Wear and tear from years of neglect caught up to the aging structures. Despite multiple code violations and fines issued by the state, enforcement never occurred. Likewise, despite warnings and awareness of potential danger, necessary repairs also never occurred. In the end, the government, multiple government agencies, and Boyce Hydro themselves have staunchly maintained that it was not their fault.

We humans have been honing the blame game for years. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3). Moses blamed Aaron and Aaron blamed the Israelites (Exodus 32). In our text, Saul was given a direct command to annihilate the Amalekites. When choice property was kept, Saul’s tactic was to excuse and deflect.

What is the proper resolution to this mess? To any mess? The answer is simple and found in verse 31. Take responsibility, and like Saul, may we have the humility to bow our heads before the Lord. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, ask God to reveal areas in your life where you need to take responsibility. Then, with humility, ask God for help.

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.