As a child growing up, I often heard my father tell me not to be an Alibi Ike when I tried to blame someone or something else for what I did. Apparently the phrase was the name of a baseball movie in the 1930’s.
Our Scripture today is an example of men of Israel being Alibi Ike’s.
Several leaders of Israel gathered 250 chiefs of the congregation and came before Moses complaining that he was exalting himself above others when all of them were holy men (Numbers 16:3). Moses fell on his face before them and told them that God would reveal His chosen man (Vs 4-5).
When he summoned two more men, they refused to come. They were complaining that he took them from Egypt, and on top of that, he hadn’t taken them into the Promised Land (vs. 12-13). Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards Numbers 16:14.
Seriously? Talk about blame shifting!!
Here they were blaming Moses for failing on the promise. They must have short memories. Three chapters earlier[i], Moses sent 12 spies to spy out the Promised Land and 10 of the spies returned and gave a report filled with obstacles and fear (see Numbers 13:28-29).
Despite Caleb and Joshua’s faith-filled counter-report the people refused to go in and take possession of the land. Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:1-4
As a consequence, God told them they would not enter the land because of their rebellion and disobedience. “But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.” Numbers 14:21-23
God clearly placed the “blame” on the people of Israel so their accusation of Moses falls short, because responsibility for not going “into a land flowing with milk and honey, or getting their “inheritance of fields and vineyards” lies squarely on their own shoulders.
If my Dad was there he would have told them “Don’t be an Alibi Ike.”
Are we prone to look for something or someone else to blame for our situation or actions? Sometimes we need to take a step back to look with objective eyes in order to see things with greater clarity.
Let’s not be Alibi Ike’s.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] Numbers 13