"Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God."
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I'm nearing the end of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, in my daily Bible reading. There are several themes I've noticed each time I've read through this section of the Bible, and one of those is the theme of unbelief and how God responds to unbelief.
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses is rehearsing Israel's history and reminding them of God's promises and their rebellion against Him. He gets to the part where the 12 spies had gone into Canaan and come back with ten of them saying they couldn't take the land, causing the whole nation to be afraid and insist they couldn't do what God had clearly told them they could do. He had promised them the land and He had promised to go with them and fight for them. But they didn't believe Him.
The writer of Hebrews replays this scene again for the benefit of his readers, and warns them . . .
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."Hebrews 3:12
Clearly, unbelief - doubting God - is a sin!
Here's what an evil heart of unbelief does:
- It makes God a liar. Titus 1:2 If God makes a promise and we don't believe it, we might as well call Him a liar. Right? Have you ever heard someone say something and another person refute it? The first person says, "What? Are you calling me a liar?" It's considered an insult to be called a liar! We need to guard against unbelief so that we are not accusing God of being a liar.
- It questions His Word. Genesis 3:1 This is where Eve got into trouble. She listened to Satan's half-truths and doubted God's very word He had spoken to Adam. When we doubt God's promises, we do the same thing.
- It wastes time. Numbers 32:13 Because of the Israelites' unbelief, they spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness rather than going right into the land God had promised them. How much time do we waste in unbelief, when we could be enjoying a victorious Christian life?
- It robs us of God's blessing. Isaiah 30:15 Unbelief kept the Israelites out of the land of promise when they could have been enjoying abundant food, good health, houses already built for them - all of God's blessings that He told them were waiting for them. We can claim God's promises for us and begin enjoying His blessings today.