When it comes to those opposed to believing in him, God can’t seem to win.
When Israel was led out of Egypt, God performed miraculous signs by destroying the land of Egypt and also drowning their army in the Red Sea. He guided them in the desert with a pillar of fire and protected them from the sun with a cloud that covered them throughout the heat of the day.
Yet, as they were poised to enter the land of Canaan and take it over, the people became fearful of the land’s inhabitants, and instead decided to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. This, of course, enraged Yahweh, who was prepared to strike the entire assembly with a plague and wipe them out.
Numbers 14:11 – Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me despite all the signs I have performed among them?
See, when it comes to those who are hesitant or rebellious about exhibiting faith in God, God can’t seem to win. If he doesn’t do miraculous deeds, then people scoff and say that he either doesn’t exist or he doesn’t intervene in life situations. If he does miraculous deeds, the people continually doubt his ability to do the next miraculous thing.
The issue isn’t about God’s ability to do or not do miraculous things. It’s about a person’s heart condition and willingness to accept God’s authority in their life. For those who can accept the authority of a God of all the universe, there is plenty of evidence to corroborate his glory and majesty in both the created world and in his interventions throughout the history of his people. However, for those who cannot accept the authority of an all powerful God, all of the evidence in the world will not convince them it is so.
This is not a dilemma for believers to solve; it is simply the way it is. Our purpose is to share the truth of God’s Word with those who are willing to listen, and to be faithful in not compromising the Word with those who may not be accepting of its conclusions. Like the apostle Paul, we need to do our best to be “all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings,” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
The Israelites simply had to learn the hard way to trust in Yahweh. Those who didn’t and chose instead to do things their own way ended up perishing in the desert; there was nothing else for Yahweh to do with their non-belief. In the same way, we need to have the maturity to allow people to make their own choices when it comes to trusting in Yahweh. All we can do is point the way, but they are the ones who need to step through the door. Let’s just do all we can to remove every hindrance possible and leave the rest in God’s capable hands.
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