The case of the poisoned goats

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During the week we got a call from my hubby’s family up in Malawi – there has been some village drama and some accusations of poisoning. Two goats belonging to the family died, as they seemed to be foaming a bit from their mouths poisoning was suspected. A man seen shooing the goats away was accused and the dead goats left on his door step as an accusation. The case was to be heard by the village head women yesterday. The problem with the accusation is that it is not backed up by anything more scientific than speculation. We fear that blame may have been laid at the wrong door step. Other possibilities that have been over looked include the goats eating something they shouldn’t have rather than deliberate poisoning. Apparently sometimes goats get into the maize field and gobble as much dried maize as their tummies will contain, then once they drink water the maize rehydrates and expands causing the goat to die a horrible death.

The simple theory of naughty goats has been mentioned but have been dismissed by the family at home in favour of the more sensational crime of poisoning. The case will go ahead and I have no clue how the village head women will solve the dispute without the help of a vet. If is funny how when things go wrong we often favour the more sensational explanation that the plainly plausible. How often when someone sins do they say ‘The Devil made me do it’? Yes the Devil is real and desperately wants to trip us up so that we dishonour God:

1 Peter 5:8-9  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  9  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings

However we need to acknowledge that we ourselves are perfectly capable of dishonouring God without any help from the Devil:

Romans 7:15-20  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  16  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  17  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  18  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  19  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.  20  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it

I wonder do we give the Devil too much credit for doing the things we choose to do ourselves? But if we take this simple explanation, instead of the sensational one then we are left with no one to blame for our sin but ourselves. It is so much easier to say ‘If was him!’, than to put up our hands and say ‘Yes, it was me!’ So the question I ask myself today is do I fully take responsibility for sin and disobedience in my life or do I try to absolve my guilt by passing the blame? Knowing my Father in heaven is willing to forgive I choose to say ‘Yes, it was me!’

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