Apr 1, 2008

Does God Test Us?

The Bible makes it clear that we are not to put God to the test. The only exception is found in Malachi where He dares us to test Him regarding tithing.

But does God ever test us?

Before we look at the Bible, I think we have a visceral reaction to the idea of being tested. When people are put through a test in the relational arena it has to deal with a lack of trust. And then there's the whole thing with the entrapment thing. It just doesn't sit right with us. The whole testing thing seems wrong to the core.

God wouldn't do that to us right?

Right and wrong.

You're right. God doesn't entrap us or not intrinsically distrust us.

But God does test us.

Here are just a few references:
  • Genesis 22:1 - Some time later God tested Abraham.
  • Exodus 16:4 - Then the Lord said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not."
  • Exodus 20:20 - Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin."
  • Jeremiah 17:10 - I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.
  • John 6:6 - Jesus said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.
  • 2 Corinthians 2:9 - I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything.
Doing a quick word search in the concordance will reveal dozens and dozens of entries for "test" and "testing."

God doesn't seem to have any problems testing us.

The Hebrew word for test is nasah or bachan. The Hebrew word literally means to test in the sense of proving.

The Greek word that is most often used to translate "test" is dokimion. It also means "the proving" or that by which something is tried or proved.

And here's the reason why God puts us to the test - because God wants us to grow.

Here's what God says in James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its word so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

God tests and proves us because He loves us.

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