The testing of our faith
Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these forty years in the wilderness, so that he might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these forty years. 5 Keep in mind that the Lord your God has been disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6 So keep the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams, springs, and deep water sources, flowing in both valleys and hills. Deuteronomy 8:2-7 From the text, God was telling the Israelites how important it was to be obedient to His commands. He admonished them not to forget that He led them out from Egyptian bondage and brought them in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, they had experienced God’s faithfulness through His protection and provision. By remembering God’s faithfulness, they will begin to manifest humility. Their sense of pride and self-sufficiency will be replaced with trust and dependence upon God. Yet there were several instances that they ignored God’s commands. Because of their disobedience, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Yet, God remained faithful. Their refusal to enter the Promised Land manifested that they truly did not know God. If they believed Him, they could have trusted Him and became obedient to His command. Their wandering in the wilderness was used by God to humble them. This was done in order for them to return to God. They went through several trials while they were there and their response to these trials revealed what was really in their heart. God allows trials and difficulties in life so we could know what is in our heart. Difficult circumstances will show how strong our faith is to God. “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:3). He allows trials so we will deepen our relationship with Him. When there is no one to turn to except God, our hunger for His presence becomes our priority. He reminded the Israelites that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). You can only grow so much in your knowledge of God as long as you continue to hunger for His Word. Once the Israelites realized the purpose of testing and the way God disciplines, they became prepared to enter the Promised Land. They listened to God’s Word and this resulted to amazing victories. If you are going through trials right now, your response will reveal how much you trust God. Are you bitter to Him because of the circumstances you are facing? Or do you trust Him more that you are willing to be led by Him no matter where these trials will bring you?
Noel de Guzman