How quick we are to pass the blame to someone else when something is wrong! Are you quick to pass the praise to someone else when something is good?
Moses sounds like a killjoy while speaking to Israel. He tells them that they would cross the Jordan and possess the Promised Land from nations greater and mightier than they were. This is cause for celebration, right? Somberly, Moses warns the people, “Speak not thou in thine heart…For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land” (Deuteronomy 9:4). Moses goes on to explain, “Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this land to possess it for thy righteousness…ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you” (Deuteronomy 9:6, 24). Moses is stern with the people, but he wanted them to cling to one truth: It’s because of God. It is God’s fault that you will inherit this land because he made a promise to your fathers.
Hezekiah should have learned this lesson and it would have changed his life. He saw God deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrian hosts. Rabshakeh taunted Hezekiah with threats which he had made good on against other kingdoms. Hezekiah is frantic and begs God to deliver his people. “The angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and…they were all dead corpses” (Isaiah 37:36). It was God’s fault they were delivered. However, in the next chapter of Hezekiah’s life, he is healed from sickness but neglects to pass the praise on to God for all He had done!
This will be a constant struggle for us. We will quickly blame someone else, but we will just as quickly take the credit when something good happens. The psalmist reminds us that we should celebrate when good happens, but always recognize who did it. “For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands” (Psalm 92:4). A famous preacher from years ago said, “When it is the Lord’s work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad.” One day the glorious celebration around the throne of God will be splendidly common as great multitudes which no one can number clothed in white robes sing out their praises, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-10, 12). We will spend eternity remembering we are saved “not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9).
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But unto thy name give glory, For thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).
Praise God! I am saved, and it is His work!