Genesis 16:3-6, 13
16:3 So after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, to her husband to be his wife. 4 He had sexual relations with Hagar,and she became pregnant. Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, but when she realized that she was pregnant, she despised me. May the Lord judge between you and me!” 6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your servant is under your authority, do to her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai treated Hagar harshly, so she ran away from Sarai. 13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” for she said,“Here I have seen one who sees me!”
17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the sovereign God. Walk before me and be blameless.
Blame is a funny thing. We somehow think blaming others will vindicate us, all the while inwardly it is an inner child trying to avoid the shame that is welling up inside. We want the problem to be someone else’s, because we try to convince ourselves that we don’t have problems, or “issues” as they are called today. Blaming does not achieve the goal of easing our consciences – instead, it serves to create even more baggage to sort through.
Sarai was a bold woman. Many regard her as submissive, and she was, but in this moment she felt shame that she could not bear a child for her husband. That shame motivated her to manipulate to achieve God’s promise and bypass the process of God’s blessing. God said it, she would see it done!
The problem is, she did not go about it God’s way. Waiting can be painful, especially when we have something to look forward to. An uncomfortable station in life might motivate us to try to escape and maybe dull the pain. Or maybe blame others around us that we are not where we should be. Looking to the future too much, though, can steal our joy in the present.
Maybe we are on the receiving end of blame. Not fun at all. I am encouraged when I see how God treated Hagar, the maidservant. A slave woman used to birth a son for another woman, then blamed for it. And God saw her. God sees when we are mistreated and He also sees when we use people for our own glory or desires. When others manipulate us, in His sovereignty He will take all things, good and bad, and use them for His purposes. Amazing God.
Whichever end you are on in the blame/shame game, there is hope. If you are excusing your shortcomings and placing them on someone else, acknowledge that guilt and lay it at His feet. If you are the one accused by others, lay it down at His feet. We are all guilty, all desperate before our God Who took all of our blame. We are all messed up – even the heroes of the faith made mistakes.
We have hope in a God Who sees all, forgives us and HOLDS US BLAMELESS! God is so gracious, that He still granted that promise – a precious son, Isaac, to Abraham and Sarah. This son would be a part of fulfilling the blessing of salvation for the whole earth.
LORD, You are awesome, Holy and Perfect in all Your ways! Thank you for taking up all of our burdens, shame and blame.