God designated the Promised Land for the children of Israel. It was a land that flowed with milk and honey, and had everything they wanted and needed in abundance. However, they received a bad report from the spies that searched the land. They reported sightings of giants and doubted that the Israelites could defeat the giants. Only two of the spies believed that the Israelites should possess the land despite the fact that it was inhabited by giants (Numbers 13:1-33, Numbers 14:6-9). Unfortunately, the Israelites believed the negative report, and began to murmur and complain rather than believe in God. Numbers 14:2 states, “And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
The children of Israel refused to believe God although He had done many miracles to free them from slavery in Egypt. In God’s eyes, unbelief is evil and it provokes His anger. Numbers 14:11 states, “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” The children of Israel died in the wilderness. God did not allow them to enter the Promised Land—His rest (verse 16). God swore that they would not enter into His rest even though that rest had been prepared from the foundation of the world.
Today, there remains a rest for us to enter into. We can receive God’s best for our lives—everything He has prepared for those who believe in Him. Hebrews 4:1, AMP, states, “Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [to distrust it], lest any of you should think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.” We should not follow the example of the Israelites when they were in the wilderness (Hebrews 13:15-19). We do not have to allow negative circumstances to cause us to harden our hearts against God.