Thinking Out Loud: Faithlessness


Yesterday's blog examined three truths that we learn about God from our given text, and today's blog will focus on truths that we learn about ourselves. 

Few passages in Scripture provide a more robust study in human faithlessness.

Faithlessness results from and is expressed in distorted vision. Here Moses highlights the motif of “seeing” (Deut 1:19, 22–23, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33), but faithless "eyes" are selective in what they allow to register in the heart. These people were blind to God's gracious providences, and they saw only the obstacles in their road. Because of their blindness to the greater One among them (1 John 4:4), they would not "see" the prize (Deut. 35–36).

This passage teaches us that faithlessness has many faces. According to verses Deut 1:19–33, faithlessness suppresses the truth (Deut 1:32). It further expresses itself in stubbornness and rebellion against the command of God (Deut 1:26),

It displays itself in private grumbling, bitterness, accusations against other members of their faith community, a complete misunderstanding of God's heart (Deut. 1:28), and a loss of memory (Deut. 1:30-33).

Their loss of memory is so significant that Moses will continually reinforce a theology of remembrance throughout the book. Furthermore, he reminds them that God had designed their calendar with celebrations purposefully designed to keep alive God's many interventions on their behalf (Deut. 6:20-25; 25:5-11).

Faithlessness assumes that remorse alone will obtain the Lord's favor (Deut. 1:41); this assumption forgets that proof of faithfulness is obedience to God's will. Faithlessness assumes a fickle God (Deut. 1:26–40) and presumptuous. Faithlessness alienates us from God to the extent that he refuses to respond to our prayers, regardless of the passion with which we plead.