“The hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them . . . until all the generation of the men . . . were wasted out from among the host” (Deuteronomy 2:15, 14). Here is some of the strongest language in all the Bible regarding unbelief.
You may say, “But that isn’t the language of grace. God doesn’t deal that severely with unbelief today.” Not true. The Bible says that today, under grace, “without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
This sin of unbelief cannot be isolated to a single issue in our lives. It spills over into everything, tainting and defiling every detail of our walk.
Israel’s doubt wasn’t just limited to God’s ability to slay their enemies. Their doubt spilled over into their trust for daily provisions. They doubted God’s ability to protect their children. They doubted whether He would lead them into the Promised Land. They doubted that He was even with them. That’s why God told them, “Turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness . . . for I am not among you” (Deuteronomy 1:40, 42).
If we have unbelief in one area, it spreads into every area, defiling our whole heart. We may trust God in certain matters, such as believing He saves us by faith, that He’s all powerful, that His Spirit abides in us. But do we trust Him for our future? Do we believe Him to provide for our health and finances, to give us victory over sin?
Unbelief leads to the sin of presumption. To presume is to dare to think we know what’s right. It’s an arrogance that says, “I know the way,” and then acts on its own.
Here is yet another sin that Israel committed in its unbelief. When God told them to turn back to the wilderness, they didn’t want to obey. Instead, they came to Moses and said, “Okay, we sinned. But we’ve got it figured out now. We’re ready to obey God’s command to go up against the enemy.” And they took matters into their own hands.
Many doubting believers make a tragic mistake in a significant way: When they fail in a matter of faith, they turn to the flesh. They do what they think must be done, but they proceed in their own wisdom and skill. Faith always resists acting in fear and waits for God to work. Faith is never willing to make something happen by going ahead of God.