The Sin of Unbelief
The word Deuteronomy literally means “second law.” This book was not intended to be an additional law, but rather it was a reinstatement of the original Law given by God for this new generation of followers who would enter the Promised Land. God and Moses knew that this generation needed to learn from their nation’s failures in the past or they would be doomed to repeat them.
1. What should have taken 11 days took 40 years!
Duet. 1:1-2 “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. (There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)”
2. The nation failed in their moment of victory due to unbelief.
V25-26 “And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God”
3. Their unbelief resulted in a story of personal AND national failure.
V35-37 “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD. Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.”
LESSON - Today, we have many lessons that we can learn from examining the Israelites’ failures. They wasted many years and many lives due to sin. One of the greatest consequences of disobedience is a waisted life. Consider all the things that could’ve been accomplished over those 40 years in the wilderness if they had simply chosen to respond in faith rather than yielding to fear and unbelief. Their story should challenge us to obey in OUR moment of victory by not yielding to fear or self-doubt. God wants to do great things through us as well, but it may require a crisis of belief. How will you respond in those moments? It would be a shame to waste a lot of years due to fear of failure while knowing that we serve a God who cannot fail! Remember, it’s not about your talents or limitations. It’s all about the power of God being manifested through you to accomplish great things for His glory!