Blame Shifting From Perp to Victim

Malachi 2:13-14 ESV  And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.  (14)  But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

Evil always works to take the focus from itself and place it on its victim or on others in general. Here in Malachi the Israelites had been consistently sinning in obvious ways and yet with their weeping and wailing they blame the Lord. “Why doesn’t He bless us? There’s the real problem. He isn’t being good to us like He promised.” No one talks about the real cause which is their own sin.

I have seen this over and over again, as no doubt many of you have. Some wickedness, sin, or crime is committed. It is discovered. It is known. And yet, over time (even a short period of time), through the blame-shifting efforts of the wicked, the focus moves to the victim. The victim did this or that. The victim did not respond in a right way. The victim needs to….. yada, yada, yada.

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The Secret is Not a Secret – CRC Sunday Sermon

June 7, 2020

Responsive Reading
Psalm 115 (Trinity #827)

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell;
they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
O house of Israel, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield.
You who fear hm, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield.
The Lord remembers us and will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron,
he will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike.
May the Lord make you increase, both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.
It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to silence;
it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore.
Praise the Lord.

Opening Hymn
All Hail the Power of Jesus Name (Trinity #296)

Continue reading “The Secret is Not a Secret – CRC Sunday Sermon”

Light and Darkness Cannot Live Together

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. (1 John 2:9-10 ESV)

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)

God’s Word repeatedly instructs (commands) Christians to embrace truth and reject falsehood. Walking in the light of Christ’s truth is the only consistent manner of living for a Christian. Lies characterize the kingdom of darkness whose prince is called the father of lies (John 8). It was by this serpent’s lie that sin and death came into the world (“oh no, you won’t die. In fact, you will be like God”). Continue reading “Light and Darkness Cannot Live Together”