The belief that God will test us to see if we will remain faithful to him seems contradictory to His character as omniscient. If God is truly omniscient then he will already know if we will remain faithful. He does not need to test us. Does he? God certainly does test us. He has tested others throughout Sacred Scripture and He does the same today with His children. God will test us not to see for Himself if we will remain faithful, but to teach us a lesson and build our faith. The test is for our benefit. It is not because God does not know the outcome.
Parents are known to ask their children questions for which they already know the answer. Imagine a child getting grounded by their parents for something he did wrong. The punishment is that the son is prohibited from having his cellphone and utilizing his cellphone for a week. The cellphone is confiscated by the father and placed in a drawer in the parents’ bedroom. The father returns home from work two days later and opens the drawer. The phone is in a different location. He knows the child has been home alone for part of the afternoon. The evidence indicates the teen has been on his cellphone prior to the father arriving home from work. The father, on the other hand, chooses to give the boy a chance to tell the truth. The dad goes into the boy’s bedroom and asks, “John, did you get your phone and use it when you know you are grounded?”
“No, I didn’t. I don’t have it.”
“John, I am going to ask again. Were you on the phone when you know you are not allowed?”
The teen, a little more adamant, “dad, I was not on the phone. Don’t accuse me of something I didn’t do. You never believe me.”
“John, I know you went into my room and got my phone because the phone is moved and is not where I left it.”
The boy, a bit shaken and knowing he is caught, finally admits, “fine, I did, but I was only on it to text my friends about something.”
The son gets into even more trouble for lying to the father and for breaking the rules. Would John learn a lesson from the experience? It is possible. It’s also likely that he will not learn a lesson and continue to be disobedient to the rules of the household. Disobedience leads to consequences. The discipline is aimed at building character and obedience. It is not a dictator punishing an unruly servant. It is a loving father trying to teach the child morality, truthfulness, obedience, and successful relationships. It is a caring parent seeking to instill in the child a sense of self-confidence, self-esteem, and character.
The Israelites were the same way with the rules of God (Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15). We are also that way. The Israelites rebelled. We rebel. The Israelites complained. We complain. God is like the father who disciplines us. He is like the loving dad who asks his son if he broke the rules. God already knows we sinned. He sees everything and knows everything. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He, like the father in the above example, gives us an opportunity to admit our mistakes and sins. He provides us a chance to build our faith and trust in the Lord by confessing our sins and seeking forgiveness. He is our Father. Yes, God does test us. He does it for our good. Are you passing his test?