Unbelief has been glanced past a number of times in my blogs. I thought it might be good (for me) to explore unbelief a little more. That is, not actually participate in it 🙂 but consider how undermining and even how wicked (yes wicked) it is to the Lord and why. This is a ‘biggy’. That is, unbelief has the potential to kill our relationship with God. Why? Because it is the opposite of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God [Hebrews 11:6]. If we not exercising our faith in God unbelief creeps in. A few unanswered prayers, a few difficult times, a few grumbles of our heart and all of a sudden our faith has gone out the window.
I am starting at Hebrews 3:7-19 from the Amplified Bible (my comments are in red)
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice,
[Faith starts (or comes) by hearing the Word (or the voice) of God – Romans 10:17. So, conversely, unbelief comes when we fail to live by (or reject) the Word (or the voice) of God]
8 Do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel] and their provocation and [ embitterment [of Me] in the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tried [My patience] and tested [My forbearance] and found I stood their test, and they saw My works for forty years.
10 And so I was provoked (displeased and sorely grieved) with that generation, and said, They always err and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.
[Unbelief is a heart problem. A hardened heart is a heart that continually and deliberately rejects the Word (or the voice) or God. The heart moves from faith to unbelief and this grieves God. I really, really love the end of verse 10. That is, ‘they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.’ This fits in with what I have been saying about ‘God knowing us’. That is, walking in His ways (like Noah). And ‘more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them.’ I love this language! I mean, trying out the ways of God and becoming more intimate with them! Yes! Yes! that’s what it’s all about! Not passively sitting in unbelief]
11 Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest.
[The consequence of unbelief: not entering God’s rest. A place of sanctuary, protection, love, peace and joy. A land of milk and honey]
12 [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you A WICKED, UNBELIEVING HEART [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.
[An unbelieving heart is a wicked heart as it opposes faith and trust in God. In Revelation 21:8 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving , the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” NIV The unbelieving will be placed with the murders and the sexually immoral and those that practice the occult. etc, etc Wow! That’s pretty sobering!]
13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].
[Ah! Unbelief and a hardened heart are sin and rebellion against God. It is a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Him! It’s treating the promises of God and the Word of God with contempt!]
14 For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.
[Have we lost our ‘first newborn confidence’ and ‘original assured expectation’? Has unbelief crept in somehow? At some point, did we diverge from complete faith and trust in God? Remember your original faith and repent of your unbelief]
15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].
[Again, here is the Word of God, what is our response to it?]
16 For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
17 And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?
18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?
19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].
[Well that is all quite self explanatory]
Here is the Opposite
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. NIV
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief !”
Mark 9:24 NIV
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