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The Sin of Unbelief

Numbers 13:25-33
25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan." 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

The Characteristics of Unbelief

1. Unbelief focuses on the wrong thing.

    Ten spies saw giants.  Two spies saw God.

The greatest thing in your life is that which you are focused on.

a.    possessions
b.    people
c.    power
d.    problems

What is a Giant?
a.    It is whatever dominates your thinking.
b.    It is something that is bigger than you, more than you can handle.
c.    It is intimidating.  It stomps in in boots, pulls its sword and growls at you.
d.    It is anything that stands between you and God's blessing.

David - a giant can be too big to handle, or too big to miss.

2. Unbelief is contagious.

Numbers 14:1-2
1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!

You would be hard pressed to find a more negative verse than this in the Bible. 

3. Unbelief impugns the integrity of God.
Numbers 14:3
3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

Where does God say anything like this?

God is trustworthy.
God is true.
God is faithful.
God keep's His word.

4. Unbelief is regressive.
Numbers 14:4
4 And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."

Unbelief never goes anywhere.
It never accomplishes anything
It always goes in circles.

5. Unbelief rejects spiritual counsel.
Numbers 14:5-10
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." 10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.

The Consequences of Unbelief.

The Israelites received what they believed
Numbers 14:20-35
20 The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22 not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times -- 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea." 26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27 "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall-- every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But you-- your bodies will fall in this desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. 34 For forty years-- one year for each of the forty days you explored the land-- you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.' 35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die."

What the people believed, that is what they received.  They believe God brought them out to die in the wilderness, and that is what they got.

Can you think of anything less preductive, anything less fulfilling, anything more frustrating than to know that you will wander around in the wilderness for 40 years, and have nothing to look forward to at the end of that time other than a dusty hole in the ground for a grave.  What a life.

I admire Joshua and Caleb.  They spent 40 years with these people, waiting for them to die.  They could have said, "If it wasn't for you people, we could all be over in the promised land eating grapes."

The Contrast to Unbelief - Faith
Caleb received as he believed
Joshua 14:6-13
6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' 10 "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said." 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance.

Caleb said he was just as strong at 85 as he was at 40.  STRONG IN FAITH!

While the original spies were afraid of the Giants, the giants were quaking in their boots at Israel. The Lord had already prepared them to be defeated.  All the Israelites had to do was go into the promised land and say "Boo."

Joshua 2:8-11
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

The receivers are the believers.

Maybe you are facing giants.  Claim your victory by faith.
"By all means go up!"
Satan - "Go back, stay back"

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