“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’
” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.””
Hebrews 3:7-15 NKJV
The above scripture speaks of how, an evil heart of unbelief coupled with rebellion often evoke God’s anger or wrath. These sins are usually regarded as innocent acts, committed with the subtle involvement of satan but later become difficult habits and the Bible describes it, as “The deceitfulness of sin.”
The definition of Unbelief
It is the incredulity or skepticism especially in matters of religious faith. (According to Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Biblically, we could say, it is the act of disbelieving or doubting God’s power, word and ability to perform His counsel or keep His promises, even after experiencing or benefitting from such before.
Our case study today, is the children of Israel, when God kept His promise of delivering them from Egypt and led them through the wilderness en route the Promise Land.
Although the journey was meant to be shorter, it took 40 long years because of their unbelief and rebellion. (Please read full account in Exodus Chapters 4 through 16; Psalm 78)
Having manifested His awesome wonders to them when they were in the land of bondage and of course, at the Red Sea! as He poured His wrath on their enemies; it was not in the least, out of place for Him to expect absolute trust, total obedience and genuine faith from the people He loves so much and would do anything for.
When God parted the Red Sea, it was the first miracle of its kind. In fact, all the nations on earth heard the news and feared Him but the real beneficiaries later questioned, if He could prepare a table in the wilderness when they were hungry. God must have felt insulted!
They disappointed and provoked Him more, even to jealousy as they complained , murmured and vehemently yearned for the things they believed they had enjoyed in the land of bondage where they petitioned Heaven daily for Divine intervention and deliverance from the strict hands of Pharaoh and his task masters. The reproach to His Name did not stop, hence the judgment that followed!
In His anger, He destroyed them to set examples for future generations, that we cannot only joyfully receive the good things of God and forget, deny or blatantly refuse to believe and obey Him at the slightest moment of discomfort, provocation, challenge, test and trial.
The most significant lesson from their mistake should keep believers in check, as we ensure that we do not have an evil heart of unbelief.
As Children of God, we are called “Believers” because the core value of our walk with God, is Complete Belief in everything Our Master, Father and Saviour says and does. We must have full confidence in Him because we know He is The Truth and He can never lie!
Nothing is hard for Him and He makes everything work in our favour even when they seem impossible. Failure to trust Him this way, is a demonstration of unbelief which often leads to rebellion.
Child of God, you and I are guilty of the sin of unbelief when there are areas of our lives or things concerning us that we believe He cannot handle. It is satan who subtly magnifies those issues above God and we must never allow him. The wise thing to do is to reject his lies and hold on to the truth of God’s Word.
For example, when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you become born again, washed by The Blood of Jesus, he makes you doubt your salvation by accusing you continuously.
All you need do is to have faith in the Grace of God that saved you.
Other times, it could be needs, healings or His counsel that we require and satan attacks us with doubt, worry, fear and negativity. We should remember past testimonies of God’s faithfulness and steadfastly believe Him for present and future testimonies. We should know that He never fails.
Factors responsible for Unbelief
1. Familiarity – Matthew 13:58
2. Fear – Mark 9:24
3. Ignorance – I Timothy 1:13
4. Worry – Matthew 6:25-34
5. Covetousness – Luke 12:15
6. Lack of contentment – I Timothy 6:6-10
7. Doubt – 2 Kings 7:2
8. Soiled mind – 2 Timothy 3:8
9. Slowness of heart – Luke 24:25
10. Small mindedness – John 6:4
Solutions to unbelief (Hebrews 3:7-15)
1. Daily exhortation inspired by studying and believing God’s word.
2. Holding steadfastly the beginning of our confidence to the end.
4. Entering into God’s rest.
7. Being unwavering. James 1:5-8
8. Sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7
9. Stirred mind 2 Peter 3:1, Ephesians 3:20-21, Romans 12:1-2
10. Renewed mind Romans 12:2
Beloved, God recommends that we enter into His rest and quit worrying. He is the Only One who can make the impossible, possible for us. So why don’t we take at His word once more today!