Faith Induced by Inward Discipline as Well as by External Evidence
Numbers 14:11
And the LORD said to Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me…

It seems almost incredible; and yet when we think of it, it is only too natural. It is important to remember that faith is a plant of slow growth. It cannot be suddenly summoned into existence on a special emergency; and in order to its development there must be not only "evidences" presented from without, but a discipline going on within. We are apt to think that because so many deliverances have been wrought for Israel, therefore their faith must have become very strong. We forget that though God had done His part all the way through, they never had done theirs. Their faith was really utterly unexercised. It is not faith, to trust in God after He has wrought deliverance. That was all they did. If they had ever learned to trust Him before the deliverance came, it would have been a different thing. They had had abundant opportunities for the exercise of faith; but they had let them all pass by. They had contracted a habit of distrust. And instead of becoming stronger in faith, they were actually getting weaker; and accordingly when the crisis came, it was only what was to be expected that their courage should utterly fail, simply because it had no faith to rest upon. How shall we stand the test when our day of crisis comes? The answer will depend on the antecedent question, how we have improved those opportunities which have been previously given for the development of our faith. "He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much." "Weighed in the balances and found wanting." After all their advantages they missed the prize. The appeal of Joshua and Caleb was the last opportunity; they never had another. "The glory of the Lord appeared" (ver. 10), no longer to open up a way for them, but to frustrate their rebellious attack on His two faithful servants, and to pass sentence of condemnation on the entire congregation. Through the mediation of Moses, the lives of the people are spared; but they are degraded from their position as the hosts of the Lord.

(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

WEB: Yahweh said to Moses, "How long will this people despise me? and how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have worked among them?

With God on Our Side We are in the Majority
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