"How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland! Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel."
The KJV employs another word for "vexed": LIMITED.
The Israelites limited God by their unbelief. Despite all that God had done to demonstrate His saving & provisional powers, they stubbornly refused to believe in Him.
Unbelief ends all faith. Faith begins at the end... at the end of our strength.
George Mueller said "faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends."
God repeatedly brought the children of Israel to a place of "dead end" where they had no choice but to seek God for deliverance. Instead of realizing God who provides and saves, they continued to test God saying, "Is God among us or not?"
You may wonder why God has to drive us to the point of helplessness and dire need. It is because it is there that God's power can be demonstrated on our behalf.
Faith & Unbelief both astonished Jesus.
Jesus was astonished at the great faith of the centurion who came to Jesus for his servant's healing. He was also astonished at the people of his hometown of Nazareth, and could not perform many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Our unbelief limits God. It keeps Him from displaying His great power and demonstrating His faithfulness in our lives.
But when we begin to truly believe, when we can thank God before we cross the impassable Red Sea, we will come to realize that what God can and will do on behalf of those who trusts Him is limitless.
Are you limiting God in your life by saying, "It is impossible?"
Let God be God.
Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of faith is to see what we believe. (Augustine)
--from Nakwon EM 6/24 Sunday Worship Service