Escaping From the Wilderness of Blame


“If we blame ourselves, we feel hopeless because we can’t do anything to stop what we’re doing. If we blame God, our confidence in Him as our benevolent Father is shattered. Either way, we have no chance to gain the victory which the Bible promises us.”[i] —Dr. Neil T. Anderson


Today’s Verse: “They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.” (Numbers 21:4 AMP)


The Israelites were impatient. They wanted things to change immediately. They wanted to get to the Promised Land. If Star Trek had been around then, they would have asked Scotty to beam them up. The result of their impatience was discouragement and depression. They lost any notion of joy and peace. They just grumbled, and the result was a culture of blame.

The Israelites blamed God for not delivering what they wanted right away. They felt, for some reason, that they deserved something better. They were tired of waiting. They probably blamed each other. They may have said to friends and family, “If you had just . . . ” They pointed fingers heavenward and at each other.

Blame shows selfishness and pride. Pride says, “I deserve it now and it’s your fault for not getting it for me.” Humility, on the other hand, brings peace. Humility says, “I am willing to trust and wait on God. I want to receive His teaching and leading, however and whenever He provides it.”

No matter where we are in our journey with loss, we need to stop blaming God, others, or ourselves. An attitude of blame means we’re trying to control the situation or explain the past. We can’t do either. Only God has the answers and He may never reveal them this side of heaven.

The root of blame is impatience and pride. Replace blame with trust. Trust God’s promises and His path through this journey. It’s not easy. We must face our feelings and stop letting them rule over us. We must decide to enjoy this day. Trust sets us free to see God’s perfect and unconditional love. Don’t point fingers. Instead rest fully wrapped in God’s arms.

INSIGHT: Don’t be caught in the bondage of blame and stuck in the wilderness. Set your mind on God and His promises. Trust Him for your every step.

PRAYER: Ask God to help you out of the wilderness of blame and pointing fingers. Thank Him for His perfect and unconditional love for you. Thank Him that you can trust Him for every moment of every day.


  • Study Numbers 21:4–7 and 1 Samuel 13:10–12. What was the result of the Israelites’ actions? Do you see how Saul blamed Samuel and the soldiers and not himself? What should he have done? Why?
  • Understand that blame is a downward, self-focused spiral. It opens the door for the Enemy, so that he can take our minds and actions away from God and His plan for us. Blame is a destructive force that can lead us, as it did the Israelites, out of the will of God.
  • Discover how to ask for God’s help and comfort. When feelings of blame surface, find a place where you can pray and be alone with God. Prayerfully seek His will and find His peace.

This devotion comes from my latest book, The Way Back From Loss. It’s available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

[i] Dr. Neil T. Anderson, The Bondage Breaker, (Eugene, OR, Harvest House Publishers, 1990, 1993, 2000), 187


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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