Mar 11 (Daily reading: Deuteronomy 1-2) (Taken from pages 106-108 from my book, “We Love Because God First Loved Us”). Jim Phillips wrote that unbelief could happen on different levels, as illustrated in the unbelief of the Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea, (“One Another,” pages 60-61).
(1) Unbelief can make us doubt the presence of God: “Is there a God?” It was impossible for Israel to doubt His presence, as Moses reminded them: (God was with you) “in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go” (1:33). We are encouraged when we believe in God’s omnipresence: His permanent presence with us!
(2) Unbelief can make us doubt the power of God: “Is He able to help me?” Moses recalled what God had done: “The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (1:30). We have all seen the power of God, and we need to encourage one another by sharing these experiences with one another!
(3) Unbelief can make us doubt the motive of God: “Does He want to help me?” Moses reminded them what they said in their rebellion: “Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt…to destroy us.” (1:27). They would spend the rest of their lives in the wilderness because of their unbelief. We can have a problem at this level when we do not understand what God is doing or why He is doing it. We must encourage one another!
(4) Unbelief can make us doubt the faithfulness of God: “Will He help me now in what I am facing today?” Israel’s doubt and fear in their present circumstances made them forget how God had been faithful in the past. Referring to the report of the ten spies, they said: “Our brethren have made our hearts melt” (1:28). When we remember God’s faithfulness in the past, we are encouraged in the present and we find hope for the future!
– Al Gary