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Scapegoats! (Part III of III)

For many years now, it seems that most people have excused almost every lapse from everyday standards of common sense and mature behavior by saying that the individual is a victim of something. Fail a test, blame the teacher. Smoke cigarettes all your life and when the cigarettes give you lung cancer, blame the cigarettes. Someone gets shot and some blame the gun. Someone has poor nutrition and some blame Burger King. Scapegoats! Scapegoats! Individual irresponsibility avoiding responsibility. In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the 16th Chapter (verses 7-10, & 20-22), we learn that the Hebrews had their own special scapegoat. Once a year, the Hebrews would have the Day of Atonement to ask God, thorugh the High Priest, for forgiveness of their sins and transgressions. Among the various ceremonies and animals used was a ritual that involved a goat that was called the scapegoat. In a solemn ceremony, the high priest placed his hands on the head of the goat and recited the list of sins. These transgressions of the people were then “transferred” onto the goat. The goat was then taken far out into the desert and set free, taking the sins of the people away with him. That was about 4,000 years ago, but we still use scapegoats today. We frequently use other people, other things in our lives to avoid accepting the responsibility of who we are and what we do. Instead of working on what is going on inside of us, we try to blame that which is around us. I Chronicles 21:8, Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” Godly, responsible people admit their wrongs. When David realized his sin, he took full responbility, admitted he was wrong, and asked God to forgive him. Many people want to add God and the benefits of Christiainty to their life without acknowledging their personal sin and guilt. But confession and repentance must come before receiving forgiveness and blessing. Like David, we must take full responsibility for our sinful actions and confess them to God before we can expect God to forgive us and continue His work in us. If God is first and foremost in your life, you will not need scapegoats because your Godly heart and your Godly mind will lead you to do and to say Godly ...

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