TESTING GOD. Bible verses about TESTING GOD TEST ME IN THIS WAY(MALACHI 3:10). DO NOT TEST GOD (LUKE 4:12); WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TEST GOD? HOW ARE THESE COMMANDS MOTIVATED BY FAITH?
This topic ‘TESTING GOD’ is taken from God’s statement to the Jews about tithing and also from Jesus’ statement to Satan when Jesus had just finished fasting. This word testing though have same spelling was used under different circumstances and have different contextual meaning and application.
A careful study of the contexts will help greatly.
MALACHI 3:10; In this context testing here implies holding God by His word in order to measure in with His promises. Before this passage( Malachi 3: 10), I want us to appreciate the fact that there had been a whole lot of things that happened in the life of Judah.
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In Malachi chapter two, we have seen the children of Israel diverted from instructions of God, they rejected obedience, and in doing this, God was not very happy with them. In Malachi 2:17,they said everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.
They also asked ‘where is the God of justice? This is one of the things the children of Israel were really unto. They were no longer doing what pleases God, and God had told them earlier if they rejected His command he will not allow His blessings to fall on them and so in Chapter three, that this statement of TESTING has come up there has been still some level of misunderstanding by these people; they did not pay their tithes any longer. As we can see in Malachi 3:9 -10, it was a command that the storehouse of God should be filled always so that food does not lack.
The problem we have here is mantic. What God was telling them here was, “prove me” and see if I will not fulfill my promises to you. That means do your part, return to obedience and I will do my part to fulfill those promises.
The law had asked them to do this long ago, check 2nd chronicles 31:10. This had been a condition where God asked them to pay their tithes obediently but they refused to do it for quite a long time ago, they refused to obey and the result was the suffering they saw. So the test me and see in Malachi 3:10 is like telling someone ‘prove me’ and see if I am not going to bless you as it is written in the law. It is so different from what we have in Luke 4:12.
LUKE 4:12; here, ‘TESTING’ carries a negative meaning, which implies to fault God. Here, there had been (1) a doubt factor; ‘if you are the son of God’. (2) a command from an inferior person. See the devil here coming up to command Jesus and he said ‘if you are the son of God’.
What was Jesus already? The son of the devil himself? Was the son of God mortal being? So we see the doubt factor here that Jesus is not the son of God and also the command factor; satan can not command God and God obey him.
The son of God can not obey the command of the devil. It is far from the devil to do that, he is His subject, he is under God, he is, so he can not come to command Him. Remember before this time,Jesus had gone through a forty day and night fasting and the devil has placed on him those different set of temptations thinking he is going to fall.
This was one of the temptations that was to reduce the son of God to a mere mortal and makes him to appear as he is nothing, and so Jesus had to be very outright here, ‘it is written don’t tempt the Lord your God’. This was written in psalms 91: 9 – 12. In that psalm it is explicitly written one should not! The devil knew this psalm that was why he quoted just a part of that psalm and left off a chunk of it. He did not want to complete it, so Jesus knowing his intent would not accept it in any way to do what he has commanded Him to do.
Again in Deuteronomy 6:16, this is another passage that one can quickly look at and know that it was written, and there was a warning that one should not tempt God. If one tempt God, He may react and His reaction may not favour him.
Now how do we apply this in our daily lives or in our faiths as Christians? How can we get the best from God? When God has commanded us to do a thing, we should do just what He has commanded and not wait to see if God will act the way He says He will act. By obedience and doing what He says we should do, we now prove him because he says He Changed not. God does not change and so if we do what he says we should do, He will prove to us that He has not changed. He will also fulfill what he says He will do for us.
If we are faithful and want to show our faithfulness , we will do what He says we do and that indeed will be a blessing unto us but if we want to be like the devil, we will doubt Him and not want to do His command, because we are not even believing He is God. We should put away the doubt factors in us about us, we should stop questioning Him, because He is God and we are human and because of this there is no way we can move him to do what he has not promised to do.
It is in obeying him that His blessings will be our portion, for example, God has promised that if we give He will open the windows of heaven and flourish us, He has promised that in giving we shall prosper. Have you tested Him and see if He will prosper you?
We should not also tempt by acting in defiance of His command and expect blessings, testing God is different with tempting.
Thank you and remain blessed.