Excuses, excuses, excuses! We live in an excuse-prone society. Criminals are excused from crimes because society supposedly did them an “injustice” or they had an unhappy childhood. High-ranking officials in government are excused from their actions because of their positions. Crooks are excused from paying honest debts due to the lenient bankruptcy laws.
And it’s not just criminals. We all have a tendency to give a reason for every bad thing that happens. It’s as though we need to defend ourselves or try to paint ourselves in a positive light for every scenario. We seem to come pre-programmed with a need to avoid blame, and at times – we will even throw someone else “under the bus” to avoid getting into trouble.
Unfortunately that attitude is not only used by the world, it is becoming more prevalent among Christians. For example, many will excuse their disobedience in the matter of tithing by saying they just can't afford it. Others excuse their failure to read their Bibles and pray by saying they just don't have time.
Since the very first man and woman, it has always been convenient and guilt-relieving to blame someone else for our actions or circumstances. When cornered by God for breaking the commandment God had given Adam, Adam’s excuse was that Eve gave the forbidden fruit to him, so he ate it (Gen. 3:12). Eve’s justification for committing the first sin was, “… The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Gen 3:13). Too often, the way out of avoiding guilt for criminals as well as ourselves is saying it’s not our fault, and putting the blame on someone else.
As we read what the Bible teaches us about this blame game problem, we will be motivated to quit making excuses for our problems and mistakes (sins), and start serving Him with all of our might. Let's determine to become problem solvers - not excuse makers!
But Jephthah didn't sit around complaining, feeling sorry for himself, and blaming others for his bad luck. Instead, Jephthah gathered a band of men, and operated somewhat like David and his men did during the period described in 1 Samuel 25:4-8, protecting cities and settlements from marauders and receiving pay from those whom they helped.
Continue to Chapter 5