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e tempt God when we refuse to take Him at His words. Rather, we grumble and murmur.
The chosen people of God did this very frequently. We tempt (provoke) God when rather than relying on Him and putting our trust in Him for our sustenance or in the days of our trouble, we look elsewhere for help.
The writer of Hebrews in his encouraging words to the Jewish Christians who were facing persecution warned: "Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So, I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest). Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the Living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin---- While it is said, today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation" (Heb 3:7-15).
The writer, who most probably was Paul, was referring to the wilderness experience. We confirm this in the later verses and I quote "And who were those people I speak of, who heard God's voice speaking to them but then rebelled against Him? They were the ones who came out of Egypt with Moses their leader. And who was it, who made God angry for all those forty years? These same people, who sinned and as a result died in the wilderness. And to whom was God speaking when He swore with an oath that they could never go into the land He had promised His people? He was speaking to all those who disobeyed Him. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Heb 3:16-19).