When he saw the angel who was destroying the people, David said to the Lord, “Look, it is I who have sinned and done this evil thing! As for these sheep – what have they done? Attack me and my family.” — 2 Sam 24:17 NET
It is human and very common to try to lay the blame on others–when we have sinned. Compare Saul’s conduct when Samuel accused him of disobedience in sparing the king and the best spoil of the Amalekites: he charged the blame on the people. How much nobler is David’s behavior in this case! The sin had not been his alone–but he sees only his own share in it. He sees the people suffering under a heavy stroke which he feels he ought to be bearing himself, and he cries to God to lift his hand from them–and let it fall upon him.
The lesson is for all of us. We should never try to shift the blame of our sins or mistakes upon others–but should take it upon ourselves. If penalties or sufferings come through our mis-doings we should bear them, and not allow them to fall upon innocent people while we escape.
Another thing to notice here is, that David’s penitence deepened under the divine judgment. Some people grow rebellious when chastened; but the true way, when we have sinned and when punishment comes, is to creep closer to God, and to get down lower before him. This is the spirit that pleases God and receives blessing from his hand.
Daily Comfort - June 9
Public domain content taken from Devotional Writings by J.R. Miller.