“…‘If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!’ they complained. ‘Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?’” Numbers 14:1-3 (NLT)
How sad, that after the miraculous salvation and royal training of Moses, plagues in Egypt, financial provision, the release by Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the Ten Commandments, cloud by day, pillar of fire by night, miraculous manna and wonderful water, the people finally got to their promised land only to be stopped by rumors. These rumors fueled their fear and rebellious spirits. They didn’t trust God’s appointed leaders, and by extension, they didn’t trust God. These folk had an evil spirit of unbelief.
One of the most interesting parts of this story to me is that the people had been praying for this moment for years. Most of them probably grew up listening to their parents recount the 400 year-old prophecy of deliverance. They dreamed and prayed of the day when they would shake off the chains of slavery in order to thrive in their own homeland.
Before we start feeling too superior, how many of us do the same thing? Is that husband or wife you are complaining about today the same one you begged God for just a few short years ago? That rowdy teen that makes you want to pull your hair out, is that the one that was born of tear soaked prayer when you were trying to conceive? That job that you are griping about, is that the one you prayed so long and hard for? That politician that… Perhaps I better move on…
Unbelief is a debilitating force that detours our destiny because it is contrary to faith. Faith says God can, while unbelief says He won’t. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Heb 11:6) But where unbelief shuts the door, belief opens it wide. Jesus told the man struggling with his faith, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23 NLT). The same God who gave you the promise when you prayed is still that same God, and He is perfectly capable – and willing – to sustain and protect the gift. He has a perfect track record of keeping His Word!
Father God, like the request of the father in Mark 9:23, “help us overcome our unbelief.” Make us a people of great faith and confidence in our God. You are faithful and trustworthy. Help us to not lose sight of who You are and what You are capable of. Help us to not lose Your promise to us in a lapse of unbelief that forgets how much You love us and want us to enjoy good things. Bless our readers and make them people of great faith. In Jesus Name, Amen!