SPECIAL TOPIC: GOD TESTS HIS PEOPLE (OT)

The term "test" (BDB 650, KB 702, Piel perfect; Gen. 22:1) is used in the sense of "to try."  It is used in the sense of bringing someone to the place whereby they recognize and act on their own stated priorities. It is obvious from Genesis 12 through 22 that God is presenting Abraham with a series of situations (the rabbis say ten) in order to focus his love and trust in God and God alone (possibly also Job).  These tests were not so much for God's sake, but for Abraham's sake and his understanding of the God who called him out of Ur of the Chaldees.  Abraham is asked to give up family, home, friends, inheritance, tradition and even the future (his promised son in Genesis 22) to follow God by faith. God tests all of His children in the area of their priority (cf. Matt. 4:lff; Heb. 5:8; 12:5-13).

God tests (BDB 650) in order to know (BDB 393; see Special Topic: Know).  Israel often tested God by their disobedience and God proved to be true to His word.  Now God will give Israel and her people a chance to demonstrate their spoken allegiance and faith.

1. God tested His people corporately

a. Exod. 15:25; 16:4; 20:20

b. Deut. 8:2,16; 13:3

c. Jdgs. 2:22; 3:1,4

2. God tested individual Israelites

a. Abraham, Gen. 12:1-12

b. Hezekiah, 2 Chr. 32:31

3. The Psalm writers cry out for God to test them so as to remove any hidden flaws (cf. Ps. 26:2; 139:23)

4. The NT people of God are also tested, as was Jesus (Matthew 4; Luke 4; Heb. 5:8).  See Special Topic: Greek Terms for Testing and Their Connotations.

 

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