The Deadliness of Unbelief (2 Kings 7:17-20)

2 Kings 7:17-20 – Now the king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. And the people trampled him in the gate, so that he died, as
the man of God had said when the king came down to him. For when the man of God had said to the king, “Two seahs of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria,” the captain had answered the man of God, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.
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There are many people in the world who have not yet come to a recognition of the danger of unbelief in the Lord or his word. Many find it difficult to imagine that a loving god would actually punish someone for failing to believe him or what he has said. “God just would not do that,” they mutter. The only problem is, their belief is based on how they want the universe to be, and not based on the clearly written revelation of God in the scriptures.

In the account above, the king’s guard had expressed genuine doubt when a prophet of God told him exactly what the Lord planned to do. The man not only doubted that God would do a miracle and feed the people in a famished city, he clearly expressed a doubt that God even could accomplish such a feat. It is that doubt, that denial of the power and character of God, that doomed the guard. As the people of God rushed to gather up the food that God had miraculously provided for them by driving away the enemy army, the guard was trampled under the feet of the surging crowd. Why? Because the man refused, in a very basic way, to believe in God.

Unbelief is deadly. When we fail to believe the word of God about the power, character, and ways of God, we do something very dangerous. To fail to believe God’s word is to offer insult to the Lord who created you. To fail to obey God’s word is to say to the Lord who created you that you are somehow above him, not subject to his commands. Few people believe that, if a person spat in the face of God, the Lord would simply let them get by with it without something being done to purchase their forgiveness. Yet, many believe that God should merely overlook a person’s denial of his word. This passage, however, displays for us exactly what is at stake when we fail to believe our Lord. Failing to believe God is deadly, the most deadly thing that could ever be done.

Today, ask yourself a couple of questions. First, who do you know who is failing to believe God? Pray for that person and ask God to have mercy on them, changing their heart to a believing heart. Even if you are a believer, where are you failing to really believe the word of God? Pray, seeking forgiveness and asking God to help you to trust him in accord with his revealed character in his word.

Dear Lord, I recognize this morning that to fail to believe you is a major offense against your holiness and glory. I have no right, under any circumstances, to fail to believe anything that you have written about yourself in your holy word. I pray that you will forgive me for any unbelief that has been in my life. Please expose to me my unbelief, convict me of that sin, and change me to become someone who truly believes you in all things. Let me learn to trust you for your glory.