11/12/14 Unbelief

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Num. 14:11

Morning Meditation 11/12/14

Verse 11 says, “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?”

I wrote in the last meditation on the failure of the ten spies that were sent into the land to spy it out. The fact is, chapter 14 lets us know that their unbelief was a representative unbelief.. This is really how the nation felt. Because when they started arguing against entering the land, and gave as a reason the size and physical stature of the people, chapter fourteen verse one says, “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.” To these people whom God had rescued from Egypt, everything depended on them. And since it did, they were no match for the giants. They saw themselves as grasshoppers (13:33) in comparison to the sons of Anak. This is the way of the natural man. The natural man always analyzes the situation and compares it to his own personal strength. If this is how it is done, then what difference is there in us and the unsaved religious world around us? The difference between Israel and the other nations is that God dwelt with them. The LORD was in their midst.

Unbelief caused the people of God to believe the wrong thing. The Bible called the report that the ten spies brought back an “evil report” (13:32). The words “evil report” mean “whispering, defaming or slanderous.” This means that they were whispering and slandering the idea of going into the land. And they gave as their reason that they were not able. They felt so strongly about this that they were ready to stone Caleb and Joshua when they said, “If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us . . .” Israel believed the “evil report” and went with the majority and the majority was wrong. Unbelief is misplaced confidence. In this place it is no confidence in themselves and a lot of confidence in the enemy. Do you see it? God didn’t even figure into the picture. God was in their midst and they ignored Him.

Unbelief caused the people to want to return to Egypt. Verse four says, “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt.” When you see a man delivered by the blood, and coming out of Egypt by the power of God, wanting to return, you can be sure unbelief is the root of his problem. There are a lot of Christians in this condition today. There are no new sins. The old sin nature has been the same from the fall of Adam until now.. You can check it out in the Biblical record. Paul said to the Colossians in chapter two and verse six; “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Why would Paul say such a thing? Because there is the constant temptation to disbelieve God and to go back to the world for help. Israel said, “ . . . Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” You notice they knew they would have to elect a new captain to lead them in a return to Egypt. They knew where Moses stood. The people ought to always know where their leader stands.

Unbelief caused great grief to their leaders, Moses and Aaron. Verse five says, “Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.” I think Moses and Aaron were speechless at this point. The next verses say, “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel” (vss. 6-10). Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to go forward and not backward. Unbelief is always self opinionated and reckons faith as foolish. Israel was so upset over the truth, that contradicted their lie, they were ready to stone them..

At this point the LORD appears. The LORD was ready to do something about the unbelief of Israel. He asks Moses two questions. “. . . How long with this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” The LORD was ready to wipe them out and start over again. Unbelief provokes the Lord. He is offended and grieved over His people who have experienced His mighty work, when they ignore Him and refuse to believe what He has promised. This event is used in Hebrews to remind believers that they can provoke the Lord by unbelief. Hebrews chapter three verse eight says, “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” This is a New Testament commentary on what happened. They hardened their hearts. They made a choice. They were not victims. They chose not to walk by faith. God says, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:38). This is a classic illustration of drawing back.

Unbelief caused Moses to put his life on the line in intercession for Israel. God is angry. Moses begins to speak to the LORD in verses 13-19. He asks the LORD to pardon the people, not because they are worthy, but because God is longsuffering and great in mercy and forgiving iniquity and transgressions. And the LORD said, “ . . . I have pardoned according to thy word” (vs. 20). The LORD answered Mose’s prayer by the time he got it out of his mouth. Prayer will turn away God’s wrath and cause Him to limit his punishment. I am probably safe in saying that unbelief is one of the major sins of the Church today. We need more leaders like Moses who will intercede and ask for forgiveness and restoration. May the Lord restore Pentecostal power to the Church. David said in Psalm 110:3, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.”

Unbelief shut the doors to the Land of Promise to a multitude of people. First, God sent a plague that killed the ten spies. Verse thirty seven says, “Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.” There is a sin unto death for the Christian (1 John 5:16). It is safe to say that these committed the sin unto death. There are several sins named in the Bible where God took the lives of His people because they persisted in the sin and did not take heed to His warning. I believe the sin unto death is any one of those NAMED SINS where the believer refuses God’s warnings and refuses to repent. There comes a time when God says, “Enough!”

Israel as a nation had to remain outside the promised land for forty years because of the sin of unbelief. God said to them, “But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise” (vss. 32-34).

This was not God’s primary will for their lives. They didn’t celebrate the passover but one time in the wilderness. And that within the first or second year of their exodus from Egypt. What did they have to celebrate? How can you celebrate deliverance from Egypt when you are in the desert eating the same food for breakfast, dinner and supper? There wasn’t much to celebrate was there? They will not be able to celebrate until they enter the Land of Canaan. This is the reason there are so many unhappy Christians. They can’t celebrate deliverance because they are living a bankrupt Christian life. What is there to celebrate? Delivered from what? If there is no difference between you and the world, you are not where God wants you.

These are just some of the things caused by unbelief. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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