Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations ... will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land ... therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. Numbers 14:15, 16.
The Lord had fulfilled the word that He spoke to Abraham when He declared that after the children of Israel had been in bondage four hundred years, He would deliver them.... Yet here, on the border of the Promised Land, they dishonored Him by giving way to unbelief.
We shall be brought into strait places, but we do not want to wait until then before we learn to trust and obey. Now, just now, is our day of opportunity and privilege. When the light of truth is shining upon us, we are to learn the lesson. Let us plead with God to give us a true conception of His character and a willingness to obey Him.
We are to stand in the strength and power of Israel’s God. Shall we do it, brethren and sisters? Or shall we murmur and complain, looking at the obstacles in the way and making a mountain out of a molehill? Today God gives His people, to confirm their faith, evidences of His power such as He gave to Israel. Will they make these evidences of no effect? Will they act as if God had not wrought in their behalf? The Lord wants us to acknowledge His power and His grace and His great salvation, which He has brought us at an infinite cost—in the death of His only-begotten Son.
We are living in a day of trial, a day of probation, a day of test. God is proving His people, to see whether He can work in their behalf. He cannot work for them if they open their hearts to the impulses of the enemy. He cannot cooperate with them if they trust in human beings in the place of looking to Jesus, and rejoicing in His goodness and His love. He wants to make of us a people through whom He can reveal His grace, and He will do this if we will only give Him opportunity, if we will open the windows of the soul heavenward and close them earthward against human rabble, against murmuring, complaining, and faultfinding....
Those who today murmur against God’s appointed agencies, weakening the confidence of the people in them, are doing the same work that the children of Israel did. The Lord hears every murmuring word. He hears every word that detracts from the influence of those whom He is using to proclaim the truth that is to prepare a people to stand in the last days.—Manuscript 10, 1903 (The General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903).