This passage occurs on the occasion of Israel’s refusal to go into the promised land because of the giants. The LORD is speaking of Israel’s rapid forgetfulness of all He had done in bringing them out of the slavery of Egypt. They forgot that He sent them a deliverer, Moses. They forgot all the signs in the form of plagues He sent upon the Egyptians. They forgot about the dry ground in the midst of the Red Sea. Why? “Because they will not believe ME.” They are not just questioning God’s ability, they are questioning His very Essence, His Character. Of course they had already proven this at the foot of Mount Sinai, setting the stage for their continually idolatry in making the golden calf.
Psalm 78:32-33 sums up their behavior and testifies to a powerful lesson! “In spite of this (all the miracles and all God’s punishments for their sin), they still sinned, and did not believe in His Wondrous Works. Therefore, their days He consumed in futility, and their years in fear.” Hebrews 3:17 plainly describes their ultimate futility. “Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?” THEY FELL SHORT OF THE PROMISE OF GOD–THE LAND OF PROMISE!!!
Here’s the point, THE MEASURE OF OUR UNBELIEF IS THE MEASURE OF OUR FUTILITY AND FEAR!!! And in the New Covenant, God has wrapped up the focus of our belief in one Glorious Object, HIS BELOVED SON!!! John 6:29 “Jesus answered and said to them (the bread seekers), This is the work of God, that you believe in HIM WHOM HE HAS SENT.”
In a matter of days, I will reach my “threescore and ten”. Most all of those years have been in the pursuit of my God. I have done many stupid things. God has delivered me out of many pits of my own digging! I have tried so hard to get it right and yet so often gotten it wrong. I have sought to get my theological ducks in a row, only to find that they do not do rows very well. I have seen many zealous new believers and theologues wander off and fall away. I have seen many good and sincere people pursue one system of belief after another, one bible teacher or bible study after another. But where is the peace and rest? Where is the “promised land”, at least the measure of it that is to be enjoyed by faith on this fallen earth? This is my conclusion--It is found only in this, “that you believe in Him Whom He has sent! All that we seek in our desperate pursuit is found in the Beloved Son. That is my conclusion after so many years of “by paths”, rabbit trails, and road blocks. They were all important in God’s school, for they brought me to the ultimate question, “Whom do you say that I AM?” And I answer with Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”(Matt. 16:15-16) And as Peter further states in John 6:68-69, “Then Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to Whom shall we go? You have ther words of eternal life. Also WE HAVE COME TO BELIEVE AND KNOW that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
I would only add to this Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the GODHEAD bodily; and you are complete IN HIM, Who is the Head of all principalities and power.”
Be not unbelieving, but Believe in Him Whom the Father has sent!!!