Saturday, August 04, 2012

The fruit of unbelief

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 78:21-39

TO CHEW ON: "In spite of this they still sinned, and did not believe His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility and their years in fear." Psalm 78:32,33

The subject of unbelief gets a lot of Bible ink.

[The dictionary defines unbelief:
1. Absence or positive belief; incredulity.
2. A refusal to believe; disbelief as in religion.
3. In Scriptural use, lack of faith in God's promises.]

  • Lot's sons-in-law perished in Sodom because they refused to believe the city would be destroyed (Genesis 19:14).
  • God prohibited Moses and Aaron from entering Canaan with the people they had led for 40 years because of unbelief (Numbers 20:12).
  • Israel was finally obliterated because of refusing to believe God. Their unbelief showed itself as idol worship and was the cause of their extinction, but for the tribe of Judah (2 Kings 17:14-18).
  • In the New testament, when Jesus' disciples couldn't exorcise a destructive demon, the reason Jesus gave was unbelief (Matthew 17:19,20).
  • Jesus' miracle working acts were dampened because of unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
  • In our reading today psalmist Asaph cites the Israelites' refusal to believe in God, despite seeing His mighty works, as the reason their lives were "consumed with futility and their years in fear."

I wonder what historians will say about believers of our generation when they look back and evaluate it like Asaph did his forefathers. Will we be characterized by faith or by unbelief and its fruit of futility and fear? Even more sobering, what about you and me personally?

I know I have a long way to go. I can identify with the father who, when Jesus asked him if he believed if his son could be made well replied: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief" - Mark 9:24.

Dear God, I don't want futility and fear to be the description of my life. Please help my faith to grow. Amen.

MORE: The fruit of faith

Faith also gets a lot of Bible ink. Here are some fruits of faith-filled lives:
1. We become children of God - John 1:12.
2. We are promised answers to prayer - Matthew 21:22; 1 John 5:14.
3. We will have power - John 14:12
4. Our lives will refresh others - John 7:28
5. Our lives are grounded - Colossians 1:23, 1 Peter 2:6.
6. We can look forward to a spiritual inheritance - James 2:5

Bible Drive-Thru

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  1. We have this amazing exchange program on the go. How about dumping futility and fear for faith and favour? I'm saying a fervent "Amen!" to your prayer, Violet.

  2. Mary, I love your way of putting it: "exchange program" (And how about all that alliteration - dumping the fruit of futility and fear for faith and favour...). It's a sermonette!


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