Putting God to the Test
To test someone or something means to take steps designed to check the performance or reliability of that person or thing. The test is intended to reveal the strengths or capabilities of that someone or something. In school, we are tested to reveal what we learned. Products are tested to be sure that they perform correctly or to see if they are safe for use. We test drive cars to see how they handle and whether or not they meet our requirements or expectations.
These kinds of tests are all good and necessary. But, what about testing God? In Deuteronomy 6:16, God told the Israelites that they were not to put Him to the test as they had done at Massah when they quarreled with Moses demanding that he give them water to drink (Exodus 17:2). When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, telling Satan that he should not put the Lord to the test (Luke 14:12). So, it’s pretty clear that Scripture tells us that we should not test God.
But, there is one thing in which we can test God – our tithing. In Malachi 3:10, God told His people to bring the full tithe into the storehouse. God wanted them to put Him to the test, to see what He would do. And what He would do was to open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings. When we give our tithe to God, He will bless us. This is something that I can attest to personally.
In 1998, my wife and I began worshipping at a church in Brooklyn, New York. After having been there for a while, we decided to become members of that church and met with the pastor to discuss what we needed to do. One of the requirements was tithing. At that time, in addition to our other bills, we had a considerable amount of credit card debt, and we told the pastor we didn’t think we could afford to tithe. His response was that we couldn’t afford not to tithe. So, we began tithing.
Two years later, we decided to sell our home in Brooklyn and move to New Jersey. We put our house on the market and in only a few days, got a buyer who offered the price we had asked for. Then, when we found a house in New Jersey that we liked, the difference in price was enough so that, after paying off the remaining mortgage on the Brooklyn house, we had enough money to pay off all of our credit card debt. And we still had money left to do work on the new house! God, as always, was faithful!