The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me, and how long will they not believe in me, in spite of the signs that I have done among them?Numbers 14 v 11
Two things God justly complains of to Moses.
- Their sin: They provoke me; or, as the word signifies, they reject, reproach, despise Me; for they will not believe Me. That was the bitter root which bore the gall and wormwood. It was their unbelief that made this a day of provocation in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:8). Note, distrust of God, and His power and promise, is itself a very great provocation, and at the bottom of many other provocations. Unbelief is a great sin (1 John 5:10); and a root sin (Hebrews 3:12).
- Their continuance in it: How long will they do so? Note, the God of heaven keeps an account how long sinners persist in their provocations, and the longer it is, the more He is displeased.The aggravations of their sin were —
- Their relation to God. This people; a peculiar people; a professing people. The nearer any are to God in name and profession, the more is He provoked by their sins, especially their unbelief.
- The experience they had had of God’s power and goodness, in all the signs which He had showed among them, by which one would think He had effectually obliged them to trust Him and follow Him. The more God has done for us, the greater is the provocation if we distrust Him.