Despite being commanded not to (Deut 6:16; Matt 4:7),
human beings have historically tested God to prove His desire of loving His "very good creation."
The nation of Israel tempted God as they emerged from slavery in Egypt.
At the very beginning of the Exodus, as Pharaoh chases, the nation of Israel cries out to God; their test reflects
their desire to know if God is truly real - if you are our God, save us (Ex 14:10-15)!
As the nation continued on their journey to the land, their grumbling and complaining increased
(Ex 15:22-25). Despite the miracles of the Exodus and His provisions so that "you shall
know that I am the Lord your God" (Ex 16:12), the nation of Israel persisted in tempting
God to prove Himself. They were not content with the knowledge that the Lord was their God nor His provision, they wanted the constant
reassurance that He was with them albeit as the invisible God; His word was not enough (Ex 17:1-7).
Jewish religious authorities tempted Jesus Christ frequently (Matt 16:1;
22:18); they did not believe that He was the Messiah Son of God.
Tempting Jesus Christ was testing God, because a) Jesus' name, divinely bestowed, meant "God saves"
(Matt 1:21-25), b) Jesus was the image of the invisible God
(John 1:14-18; Col 1:15-16), and c)
Jesus says and does what His Father commands because His Father abides within Him (John 6:38-40;
A genuine faith is the belief that God really exists and a confident trust in the reliability of His word. When human beings tempt God
or Jesus Christ to prove their love for human beings, it is an expression of doubt and disbelief in God's word that "He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
To Believers, Paul encourages the church to test themselves – test to discover what truly lies in your heart. And when
you test yourself, it is not with the sense of comparison or competition against others "to measure against or to curry favor"
(2 Cor 13:5; Gal 5:1-4).
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