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Devotional - week of October 2, 2011


NOT MIXED WITH FAITH

 

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.  Hebrews 4:2

 

 

This is a reference to the Israelites who did not have faith to enter the Promised Land. Before the Israelites came to Mount Sinai where they received the ten commandments and the covenant with God, they had seen the 10 plagues in Egypt, the dividing of the Red Sea, the Egyptian army totally destroyed, a miraculous victory in a brief war, the provision of water just by striking a rock, daily food provided by the Lord, and the experience of seeing Mount Sinai on fire from the presence of the Lord. In addition to all that they had seen, before the Israelites left Mount Sinai headed to the Promised Land, God gave them the following promise:

 

 I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.  Exodus 23:27-28

 

At Kadesh Barnea, the Israelites were ready to enter and conquer the promise land. They sent in 12 spies to investigate the land. When these 12 returned, 10 of them said, “We cannot take this land. They have walled cities and giants live there.” Caleb and Joshua said, “We can take the land.” The Israelites sided with the 10 and refused to go in. This failure resulted in 38 more years of living in the desert (Deuteronomy 2:14). Deuteronomy 1:2 says, “It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea.” The lack of faith turned a brief time in the desert into thirty eight years.

 

Believers do not have to face their God-given responsibilities unmixed with faith. Galatians 5:22 says that the fruit of the Spirit is ... faith (KJV). Be filled with the Spirit and with faith by living the life of grace.