The Depth of Their Unbelief

The Depth of Their Unbelief


“In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe.”
– Psalm 78:32 [ESV]

God’s dealings with the children of Israel in the wilderness is a well of constant inspiration from which I frequently draw. I’m amazed by the miracles performed by God on behalf of His people and His continuous care of their sojourns and wanderings. To tell the truth, I envy them. I’m jealous of what their eyes saw, and their ears heard. Scripture describes them hearing the voice of God like the sound of trumpets. They witnessed the Lord throwing boulders from heaven upon their enemies. They watched the ground open its mouth to devour naysayers and their rebellious lot from the congregation. What mighty works the Lord God did among them! Reading these dealings is enough to bolster any believer’s faith regardless of circumstance. And yet, I’m baffled that “in spite of all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe.”

Quite honestly, I’m shocked! The depth of their unbelief was such that in the face of seeing acquaintances die because of their unruly ways, they remained steadfast and undeterred from sinning against the Lord. They saw the anger of God; they felt the best of kindling, yet they warmed themselves and nurtured their stony hearts by the fires of His indignation. They saw the greatness of His power; He strewn water from rocks, drowned armies in the Sea, and saw even Miriam rebuked for her error. However, even these events couldn’t convince them to consider their ways and change their course. What boldness! What audacity! They looked upon God’s devastating judgment and shrugged their shoulders.

The goodness of God in the performance of wonders could do nothing to fortify their belief. God leading them as a tour guide through the desert by pillars of fire and cloud must have felt ordinary to them. The Lord feeding them Angel’s food, the very Bread of Heaven, must have been too base and typical for their exquisite tastes. The Lord routed their enemies before them or rerouted them around dangerous men, but that could not convince them of His concern for their wellbeing. No, the Scriptures report they provoked God to anger. His wonders could not inspire wonder or awe; His goodness towards them could not invoke good from them. It’s not they could not believe; they would not believe.

But dear Christian, we mustn’t be too hard on the nascent nation. Yes, with all the wonders and terrors of the Lord displayed before them, they continued to sin and live in unbelief of the Majesty on high. However, we must be careful, for we have a record of the Lord’s dealings with His chosen nation, as well as the coming of His Son, canopied in the flesh, and yet we, too, have struggled to believe His word, despite His wonderful workings in our lives. The Scriptures admonish us to consider saving our souls and enter into the resting place, the promised land God has prepared for us. Therefore, though their depth of unbelief was indeed profound, I echo the sentiment of Scripture in Hebrews 4:11, “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.