The Sin of Unbelief
Hebrews 3:17-19
But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?…

Why did they not enter into rest? Because they believed not. He does not single out the sin of making and worshipping the golden calf; he does not bring before us the flagrant transgressions into which they fell at Baal-peor. Many much more striking and to our mind more fearful sins could have been pointed out; but God thinks the one sin greater than all is unbelief. We are saved by faith; we are lost through unbelief. The heart is purified by faith; the heart is hardened by unbelief. Faith brings us nigh to God, unbelief is departure from God. Does it seem strange? By faith we draw near and worship God; by faith we receive God's love; through faith the Holy Ghost is given unto us; by faith we obey and follow Christ. Yet it is so natural and so like the goodness of God that all should be by faith. For the Lord is our God; He is all. He is willing to be, to give, to do all; to be God for us, to us, in us. By grace are we saved through faith, and even this trust is the gift of His blessed Spirit (Ephesians it.). Unbelief prevented Israel's entering into the promised land. Then it follows that faith enters into rest. If we trust in God, then the wilderness will be converted into the garden of the Lord. See the true Israel, Jesus our Lord, who was tested in the wilderness. He entered into rest, He enjoyed peace with God; and there was given Him power to tread upon the lion and adder, and to trample the dragon under His feet. Worshipping the Father He conquered; and the angels of God refreshed and gladdened His heart with their heavenly converse. Such is to be your life. Only believe, only worship, only harden not your heart, when in the Scripture and in the Spirit's teaching and in God's daily dealings you hear God's voice, and though wild beasts, hunger and privation, weakness and temptation beset you, you are safe, you are blessed. God is with you, who can be against you?

(A. Saphir.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

WEB: With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn't it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

The Bar to Progress
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