This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Day by Day Nov 15 (28)
“When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, ‘I have sinned, I have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me’ (2 Samuel: 24, 17)
It is very natural and very common to blame others in the event of a misfortune or failure that has occurred through our fault. Compare Saul’s behavior when Samuel accused him of disobedience – he blamed the people for everything. How much more honorable was what David did in this case. He was not the only one to sin, but he saw the people under the burden of the punishment which he was supposed to bear on his own, and he calls upon the Lord and asks Him to remove this punishment from the people and turn it onto himself.
This is the lesson for everyone. We must never take the blame from ourselves and place it on others; we must answer for our own deeds. If we must suffer for something that was our fault we must bear the punishment, fully recognizing that it is deserved, without blaming anyone, and must not let innocent people suffer on account of the consequences of something for which we were responsible. Many people resent punishment sent from above, whereas, on the contrary, deeply conscious of one’s sin, one should humbly submit to the hand of the Almighty and come closer to Him, bringing repentance to the feet of the Savior. Only the spirit of humility, repentance and submission is acceptable to the Lord, Who wishes to awaken this spirit within us by sending us trials.
This brings to mind Edmund’s repentance in chapter 13 of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. He has a conversation with Aslan and apologizes to the other children, and then:
" ‘You have a traitor here, Aslan,’ said the Witch. Of course everyone present knew that she meant Edmund. But Edmund had just got past thinking about himself after all he’d been through and after the talk he’s had that morning. He just went on looking at Aslan. It didn’t seem to matter what the Witch said."
P.S. Dan, I guess I have once again been removed from the automatic email list.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)