To Test God

Have you ever had some one test you?  Maybe they intentionally tried every bit of your patience.  It could be that they were not very confident and that they were truly testing your friendship to see if it was genuine.  Or they might have just been testing you to see if they could get you to react.

As much as most of us don’t like to be tested, did you know that God likes it even less?  Yet, our Bible text this week shows Jesus - God The Son - being tested:

And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar's.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they marveled at him. (Mark 12:13-17 ESV)

These folks were testing God by trying His patience and even by trying His ‘understanding’.  Clearly, Jesus had no problem confounding them as they ‘marveled’ at Him and how He handled their nonsense.  Here are a few clear commands in Scripture about not testing God:

Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. (The Israelites had tested God).

Jesus answered, “But it also says in the Scriptures: ‘Do not test the Lord your God. After the devil had tempted Jesus in every way, he left him to wait until a better time. (Satan was testing Christ). 

Sometimes we test God by by doing things we know we shouldn’t and hoping God will rescue us.  Other times we can test God because we are not confident in Him so we want to make sure He is there.  Still yet, we can even test God because we do not even believe in Him so we choose to throw out faithless tests in the direction we think He would be if He did exist.  

We have an innate need to see before we do but God’s Word teaches us we will see God at work by extending faith not by extending sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.  If these folks that tested God had spent even a portion of their energy towards faithfulness it would have been a game changer.  What about you?  Have you tested God?