Absolute biblical recordings reveal God punished those who did not believe or obey what He said. And He rewarded or blessed those who believed His word, following His commands.
The Old Testament shares with us the prophets, those who spoke to the nation of Israel, disclosing His message to them. The prophets did not use their own words, only the words spoken to them from God. But that changed in the New Testament. In the time of Jesus, a new covenant was made that was to be followed.
The truth is this covenant wasn’t really “new”. It was planned at the beginning, and prophesied about throughout the Old Testament. It came to completion in the death and resurrection of who was with God in the beginning – Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”
One of the prophets offering God’s message in the Old Testament is Moses. Through Moses, God promised to lead His people from slavery in Egypt into a new land. Though now free, the traveling nation (thought to consist of over two million people) created their own problem: They did not believe God’s promise of conquering a land for them.
And how did the Israelite’s unbelief turn out?
The story of the exodus is a perfect example of God offering a blessing of freedom to His people. To receive the blessing, His chosen had to believe in His promises. However, most chose to grumble and complain over accepting His goodness of freedom. They always seemed to point out things they didn’t like, instead of being thankful for His mercy.
God Himself had assured them that He would free them and redeem them:
Exodus 6:6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
But instead of trusting God they complained about: lack of meat, being in the desert, facing giants, Moses’ authority, and lack of water.
As a result of their not believing in all of God’s power, after they all left Egypt God had the great nation wonder through the desert for forty years; until the old generation of unbelievers died and a new generation came to pass. All except for Caleb and Joshua.
Numbers 14:30 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.
Caleb and Joshua were the only two left from the original exodus who God permitted to enter the promised land. This is because they were the only two who believed they could conquer the new land, Canaan.
God wants us to believe, as He reveals it to us.
We find in Genesis 15:1-6 Abram was found righteous by God because he believed God would create a great nation through him. Abram knew nothing more other than those words spoken to him at that time by God. Abram believed, and the nation of Israel was to be born.
Today, we are privy to more information regarding what God did, does, and will do for us. We know that God made promises in the past and fulfilled them.
After God’s people again did not believe God (approx. 800 years after they settled in their new land), they were carried off from their homes in Jerusalem by king Nebuchadnezzar. He took them into Babylon for seventy years. Yet, our God of mercy knew there were still those who believed in Him and sent them words of comfort through the prophet Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
I am a believer now, but thankfully, until the exact return of Christ occurs. . .
Revelation 1:7-8 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
. . .God is still giving everyone the opportunity to BELIEVE!
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Yes! God does care that we believe in His word. He promised us eternity through the death of His son, Jesus. If you have any doubts, turn your heart over to Jesus right now and invite Him into your heart.
Jesus loves you and looks forward to spending eternity with you!
Next week, I’ll share with you miracles Jesus preformed to help the Jews believe.