Spiritual test like tests in school are tools that are used by the Master Teacher for our good. Now, most students are fearful of tests. So here are some thoughts about testing that may help rearrange our thinking.
1. A test show what we know.
2. A test show what we don’t know.
3. A test show what we need to learn. (It really is different than #2)
I think we associate grades or our worth with a number instead of viewing test, especially spiritual test, as a learning experience and not a symbol of failure and stress. Jesus being the Master Teacher knows that if you cannot pass the test we should not move on but when we do pass He starts us on a whole new course of study. So retesting is part of spiritual training. Ex. – John 21 when Jesus asked Peter three times about his love. (see Rock or Chip) So remember passing test are needed to move you to the next grade/level. (see Test, Attacks, and Storms part 1)
Depending on the translation of the Bible you read the word for a test is rendered in several ways: try, prove, examine, tempt, assay, investigate, know, challenge, etc. I think there are four major groupings of the ideas prove/test or search /know.
2. Testing of Metal
3. Search and Know (the heart/mind)
Malachi/Meribah may seem like a strange pairing of verses but the same word for test/challenge is what ties them together. The famous verse about testing God and open windows are in Malachi 3:10 but most of miss 3:15 where it talks about people who test God because they believe it is futile to serve Him. But the intensity of that testing is reflected in Psalm 81:7, 95:9 and refers to Exodus 17 and Numbers 20 where the people wanted water and Moses was to speak or strike the rocks.
The comparison of us being tested as metals is used in a number of passages. This was done with great heat and air. The picture is that something pure is going to come from this type of testing. (see What Type of Metals Are You Part 1)
Psalm 11:4, 139:23 and 17:3 are verses that refer to God searching, knowing and testing us. (see Fight)
Other examples of testing are when Joseph tested his brothers in Genesis 42: 15,16 and God testing Levi in Deuteronomy 33:8. (see Timeline)
I guess if there is a thought I want you to take away from this it would be; God tests us for our good so that He can promote us to better things and that tests are not attacks, storms or trials. (see Test, Attacks, and Storms part 2, part 3)