The nation of Israel had been in the wilderness in the Judean desert for forty years. Pretty much a whole generation had died and the new one needed it's own faith. Only Moses, Caleb and Joshua survived the wilderness experience. The new generation hadn't seen the miracles at the Exodus, the ten plagues in Egypt, the locusts or the crossing of the Red Sea. We would say today, "God had no spiritual grandchildren." Each individual person needed his or her own Christian faith and also their own doubts. Being uncertain about something, to think that something may not possibly have been true or just to have no confidence in an idea helped reinforce our faith in the long term.✞
The Ark of the Covenant for the people of Israel was the symbol of the presence of God. In a unique way, God's presence was revealed by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. The people were therefore careful to keep their distance and respect God's dwelling place. Today, people do not usually reverence God. In our highly technological society many insisted that they were in charge of their own destinies. They imagined they have come of age and no longer needed their so called crutch of a Supreme Being.✞
Yet Christian faith and doubt could be powerful tools in bringing us to know this Supreme Being. This was summed up in an old poem by an unknown author or possibly by the American hymn writer Thoro Harris (1874-1955),
"Doubt sees the obstacles,
Faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night,
Faith sees the day!
Doubt dreads to take a step,
Faith sours on high.
Doubt questions 'Who believes?'
Faith answers 'I'"
We can all say "Amen" to this sentiment!✞