BLAMING OTHERS INSTEAD OF BLAMING OURSELVES
The grief David felt that was caused by Absalom’s treacherous conniving with others to remove him as king of Israel and Judah, left scars on David’s soul. But he decided to seek reconciliation instead of retaliation. He did not want to become like those who attempted to end his reign. From what David said in Psalm three, and now what he shares in Psalm four, he never wanted to end his day without taking his needs to the Lord to receive guidance and understanding. David was not looking to get even but simply to stay balanced emotionally and mentally. This tempered his thought process and softened his plea for God’s help. So in this Psalm, he had a message for anyone facing the same dilemma:
“O One True God, You were the One who taught me how to live right so I could cope with stress, so I’m asking You to be patient with me and give attention to my prayer as I call out to You. For I have asked the elders, ‘How long will you continue to question my integrity? Will you carry on without a purpose? Will you continue acting on unfounded accusations? Remember this: the LORD Eternal chose godly people for Himself and He listens when they call out to Him. Show some respect, don’t do anything stupid. Take a break, breathe in deeply, and think things over. Give the LORD Eternal the respect He deserves and learn how to trust in Him. Many are asking if we would ever be respected as a people.’ O LORD Eternal, You have directed Your smile of approval toward us. You made me glad, and I rejoice with my brethren in their success. That’s why I can put my head on my pillow with peace of mind, O LORD Eternal, for I know Your loving arms are around me.” Psalm 4:1-8
Reflection: The story is told of a man named Yada who found himself in peril. Yada’s boat was sinking, and as the water rose up around his legs he begins to blame the boat builders for using inferior materials and creating a badly designed craft. Then he berated the weatherman for not precisely predicting the path and intensity of the storm, while simultaneously criticizing the Coast Guard for not forcing him to stay in the harbor even though he ignored their warnings not to sail. Finally, he blamed God for not sending the storm to another area to keep it from interrupting his spur-of-the-moment plans. So you can imagine what he said when the boat sank because he did nothing to stop the leak or bale out the water.
The phrase “Yada, yada, yada” certainly applies here to this man’s endless complaints instead of taking responsibility. Troubles and trials may come our way but this does not mean we should resign to our fate instead of relying on our faith by holding on to the promises of the Promise Maker. Even though our difficulties may be due to someone else’s actions, there is no need to take ownership of how they are handling their predicament and incur the same grief and anxiety their actions will bring them. Rather, contemplate on how to be an inspiration for others to talk about, instead of being an imbecile others will jest about. In the words of a chorus we used to sing as children, “The more we pull together, together, together; the more we pull together the happier we’ll be.” – Dr. Robert R Seyda