The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?Numbers 14:11
This is a very sad chapter in the history of God’s people. They were going through the same crisis of faith that their descendants would go through again and again and again. It is the same crisis of faith being addressed by the author of Hebrews in the verses we looked at yesterday (Hebrews 10:32-36).
The LORD has given ‘these people’ more than ample evidence of his power to save them and to bring them into the land he has promised them – ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ (verse 8); ALL he requires of them is FAITH and TRUST, nothing more. They have no excuse.
These are good (and challenging!) passages to read when we are struggling with the twists and turns of God’s providence in our own lives, and in the disturbing circumstances throughout our world today. The miraculous exodus from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, and God’s gracious provision in the wilderness are all foreshadowing and anticipating the substitutionary DEATH of Jesus and his glorious RESURRECTION; the same SUPERNATURAL POWER which raised him from the dead is available to us in every situation, which is the basis of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18-23 – “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Let this be our constant prayer for one another in our pilgrimage to the TRUE ETERNAL Promised Land! May the Lord never have to say of us, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?” – ESPECIALLY the Resurrection of Jesus – cf Acts 17:30-31: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but NOW he commands ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to ALL men by raising him from the dead.”