In Numbers 14 the Israelites make a huge assumption based on several faulty beliefs. First they assume there’s no way they can claim the Promised Land due to the size and numbers of the people inhabiting it.
Their assumption exposes two false beliefs. First, they believe these foreigners were stronger than God. How could they possibly overcome such a hurdle? (Numbers 13: 31-33) They hadn’t even stepped outside their camp and they already assumed the worst possible scenario. Second, they believed God meant them harm.
All this led to their assumption that God didn’t care. They assumed God’s only intention was to let them die, despite the miracles they witnessed at the Red Sea, the Jordan, water coming from a rock, etc.
At times I find myself flabbergasted with their lack of faith, but then I step back and realize how much of an Israelite I am. How many times have I done the very same thing? Things go horribly or don’t turn out as I interpreted they would according to what I think God is doing, and I despair, wondering how God could have left me in such a place of insurmountable odds.
But what if the Israelites had nurtured their relationship more with God? Spent more time in prayer, learned the true character of the God who wanted desperately to give them a land flowing with milk and honey? What if they had reflected back on those past events as reminders of how God had rescued them and provided for their needs over and over again?
Would they have turned from grumbling to thanksgiving?
We can avoid making false assumptions about God by getting to know him better, and the only way to do that is to study the Bible. When we know God’s true character and base our beliefs on that truth, the trials and indecisions of life will not shake us as badly. Because we will know without a doubt that God only wants what’s best for us. Period. Without a doubt.
How do we know that? From God’s Word. Scripture is packed with God’s good intentions to prosper us and give us a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And 1John 4 is the greatest love letter to us from God.
We have two benefits the Israelites didn’t. One, we have God’s complete Word. The second is the greatest example of God’s unlimited love for us—Jesus. Perhaps the Israelites would have saved themselves years of suffering if they’d pursued God more passionately, but what really matters is that we can learn from our brothers and sisters from the distant past.
We have the opportunity to know God more intimately than Israelites did because we have his Son living in us. This is a huge gift! One we can’t squander by letting our pastors and friends tell us what the Bible says. God gave us his Word so that we can get to know him for ourselves. This is where our faith is formed, in a relationship with God through first-hand knowledge of our amazing Creator. Based in truth, not hearsay. And I guarantee you will meet God on the pages of the Bible.
The best part of this pursuit is that it never ends and it never gets boring! Our God is so unique, multifaceted, powerful, and LOVING that getting to know him and growing closer to him is the most amazing journey we can ever take in our lives. It’s transforming and exciting. And it’s the best way to destroy false beliefs.
I’d like to invite you to join me on this fantastic journey. Just start with 5 or 10 minutes a day and seek God in his Word. First ask him to open your heart and mind to hear him. This allows the Holy Spirit to go into action to reveal the most amazing nuggets of truth.
God has a way of permeating every part of our lives with his exciting presence when we truly desire to know him better. And I can tell you from experience that walking with him never gets old.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. — Jeremiah 29:13
Praying and believing,