A lot of Christians think that we should never put God to the test thinking of the following Bible verses:
- “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Deuteronomy 6:16:
- “Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down.’ For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:5-7:
Is this really true, should we ever test God? When “we live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)”, don’t we constantly test the reliability of God’s promises when we follow Him? The defining difference is when we jump off a bridge and quote Psalm 91:10 “then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent,” on the way down and expect God to magically put his hand out to catch us.
However when it comes to money we can put God to the test.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe, ” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:10-11
There are some common questions when it comes to tithing:
- Is tithing just some Old Testament thing that we don’t have to worry about any more, as many preach today, since we are not under the law? “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” Matthew 23:23. Jesus had the opportunity to speak directly against the tithe, but in fact he says that we should tithe in addition to be fair.
- Does this also give us an out, that if we have bad financial management and just tithe, we will do well financially? No that would definitely be putting God to the test, outside what the verse mentions.
- Does this mean that if I tithe I will never have financial difficulty? Of course that is not true, many faithful tithing Christians have lost jobs, and faced health care crisis and other circumstances that have put them in difficult financial times. However if we use Biblical wisdom to live for God and not money, limit borrowing, be generous, live well below our means, work hard and honestly, and tithe, we will do well financially and when bad times come, and they will, we will endure them much more easily.