Scripture Reading: Isaiah 14:1-16:14 / 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 / Psalm 106:1-15
Students are not particularly fond of tests…especially when they are unsure of the correct answers! Some look upon “True/False” tests as favorable because they have a 50/50 chance to get the correct answer. Others prefer multiple choices, believing they can figure out the right answer. Fill in the blank and Essay tests are probably the least liked because if you don’t know the answer…you don’t have a chance!
God isn’t afraid of tests…He knows all of the answers but He responds unfavorably when man questions His faithfulness, power and wisdom. The Psalmist speaks of Israel testing God in the wilderness, “But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test.” (Psalm 106:13,14)
Israel witnessed God’s mighty hand upon their lives firsthand! He saved them miraculously out of Egypt; He parted the Red Sea; He closed the waters over the Egyptian army and He sent them manna. Yet this was not enough to sustain them as they found themselves in the middle of the wilderness with no water.
It would seem reasonable if they worried but Israel went beyond worry and began to doubt, losing trust in God. All they had to do was remember God’s power and intervention in the past but they forgot, minimized and dismissed God’s faithfulness. They looked at their hopelessness, questioned God and concluded that God could not be trusted. If God would come through for them and provide water, then they would believe and follow Him.
“They tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not.” (Exodus 17:7) They “tested” Him by making Him prove His faithfulness all over again. Paul warns the Corinthians not to tempt the Lord as the Israelites did in the wilderness…those words are also appropriate for us today. Today’s challenges should not be the plumb line of hope but God’s faithfulness, power and promises are the unmovable guarantee of truth.
Don’t let the present frighten you…look in the past to God’s faithfulness and to the future of God’s promises! He will be faithful to overcome all of the famine, fear and failure in our todays. God doesn’t need to be questioned or tested…just trusted!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!