Is it OK to test God?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Can We Test God?

The only time that believers are permitted to test God is in the giving of tithes. The Bible says, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (Malachi 3:10). Testing here shows faith in God’s provisions for His children.

Any other testing that entertains doubt to God’s Words is considered sin. The Lord said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah” (Deuteronomy 6:16). The Israelites tested God at Massah when there was no water and they grumbled saying, “‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst” (Exodus 17:3). Testing here showed doubt to God’s ability to provide for His children.

The Lord gave great evidence that He was leading His children and for example, the miracles of divine power in Egypt, the great deliverance at the Red Sea, and more recently, the sending of the manna. After being supplied with food, the people promised that would trust the Lord yet a short time later, when given a chance to show their faith, they charged Moses of planning to destroy them in order that he might enrich himself by their possessions.  In spite of the proof of God’s love, they “tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exodus 17:7). They put God to the test; and they challenged Him to prove His strength.  And unless their challenge was met, they didn’t want to believe in Him. 

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in the wilderness, when meeting Satan’s temptations. “The devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Matthew 4:7—10).

Satan suggested that Christ should put His Father to the test. Instead of believing in the Father’s proclamation at the Jordan, confirming Christ as His Son, Jesus was to experiment to prove to Satan that He was so. But such an experiment would reflect unbelief rather than faith. For Christ to have acceded to the suggestion would have demonstrated presumption rather than faith. 

Faith Verses Presumption

The Bible defines true faith as the “confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). By faith, the Christian considers himself already in possession of what has been promised him. His utter confidence in the One who has made the promises leaves no uncertainty as to their fulfillment in due time. Faith thus enables a Christian not only to lay claim to promised blessings but to receive and to enjoy them now.

Presumption is the counterfeit of faith. Jesus refused to test God in wilderness of temptation in such a way. Likewise, we are to accept God’s Word by faith, without testing and requiring a sign (Luke 11:29). Christians are not to put themselves needlessly or carelessly in a place where the Lord will have to perform a miracle to save them from a wrong action. They are not to presume upon God to save them when they have trodden into a forbidden territory. True faith will lead the believers to walk according to God’s Word

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories God

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