17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?
17 Now with whom was He angry forty years?
The last question in verse 16 is answered by yet another question. The question provokes a challenge to the reader.
Was it not with those who sinned,
God was angry with those who exercised unbelief (Nu 14:11). This was their particular sin.
whose corpses fell in the wilderness?
Many of the original generation of Israelites that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness because of their rebellion against God (He 4:11; cf. Nu 14:29, 32-33). God did not allow them to enter the Promised Land. There is clear evidence between their sin and their physical deaths.
There is a consequence to failure to trust in the work of Christ.
The issue at stake among believers who rebel against God is divine discipline, not hell. There is a consequence to not trusting God, to not maintaining confidence in God. Unbelief can cause havoc in the Christian life.