Monday, November 24, 2008

Faithless Doubt

Continuing the study of Deuteronomy, we hear Moses retelling the story of the Israelites standing at the edge of their promised land, Canaan, but full of uncertainty. Despite God's Provisions through the great and terrifying wilderness, the Israelites are unsure how this land would become their own. Forgetting the Protection of Yahweh in their rescue from the Egyptians after 430 years of slavery, their faith waivers.

Read Deuteronomy 1: 19-26

"Then, just as the LORD our God directed us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness . . . we arrived at Kadesh Barnea, [Moses] said to you, 'You have now reached the land that the LORD our God is giving us. Look! He had placed it in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God or your ancestors, has promised you. Don't be afraid! Don't be discouraged!' (Deuteronomy 1:19-21 NLT)

They arrive! Generations after the promise is given Abraham, Moses leads God's chosen people to the border of Canaan. Moses reminds them of God's Provision, Protection and Promise! BUT, they hesitate. Deciding to sent scouts to explore the area, one man is chosen from each of the twelve tribes. In verse 25, the scouts report that the land the LORD our God [has] given us [is] indeed a good land, but immediately verse 26 reveals Moses recollecting, "But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God and refused to go in."

A faithful response to God's promises can be compromised by doubt. The scouts report to Moses the land is a magnificent country - a land flowing with milk and honey . . . But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. . . (Numbers 13:27-28). Despite God's numerous miracles and manifest promise, they doubt Him; they refuse to enter Canaan. Standing at Kadesh Barnea the opportunity to step into the long awaited Promised Land is there for the taking, but fear and doubt create hesitation.

Consider this!
  • Contrast God's Promise to the Israelites with their response.
  • Do you trust God to provide all you need? If not, will you?

Lord, You are Yahweh ~ the God of Promise! When uncertainty clouds my thoughts, You remain. When doubt disturbs my hope, You remain. When fear threatens my heart, You remain. I can trust You because You always remain faithful to Your Promise. It is in Your unfailing promise ~to love me, to redeem me, to be with me ~ that I place my faith. Amen! ~dho