As I see it, the world is roughly divided into two camps when something goes wrong: those that blame everyone else, and those who blame themselves. Of course neither are right. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s me and sometimes it’s all of us that’s got things wrong.
Moses was in the ‘blame myself’ camp. Apparently it was his fault that the Israelites had not listened (Exodus 6:10-12). He just hadn’t communicated it well enough. Maybe if he’d spent the last 40 years working sales instead of looking after sheep, and taken a few elocution lessons, or read the latest self-help books on being an influential speaker, things might have turned out differently. If only he’d got to know the people better, learned how they ticked these days, got into their shoes, walked their walk, talked their talk…
When things go wrong, how we wish we’d done things differently, taken a different approach, tried harder… Many of us live with deep regrets, for instance if a close friend or family member made some bad choices, we are quick to pick up the tab, blame ourselves, wonder how we could have handled it better, changed things.
But where does regret get you? And others are responsible for their own decisions, whatever we do or say. If we did act badly, we need to repent, receive forgiveness and move forward. If not, why wear someone else’s guilt? Otherwise, like Moses, it becomes for us an excuse not to move forward in obedience to God ourselves. After all, we are just not worthy!
God’s response? He just sent Moses on his way to get the job done. That’s the only answer really. God’s got work for us to do, and we need to shake off whatever guilt trips and hindrances get in the way, and get back on with the job. No excuses.