John Johnson wrote:
One of my theological pet peeves has been this issue of God "testing" us. I had a pretty satisfying theological box until this past week in BSF when God clearly says He will test Israel (In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. Ex 16) apparently for the purpose of seeing what they will do. Still, that is not exactly what the passage says. Then I thought of the three purposes of a test (a test tests the student's knowledge, the professors ability, and the test's validity). Thus, to keep the lid on my theological box, I entertain the possinility that God's tests are not to show Him what we will do, but to show us what we really are. That fits for me.
Here's another idea about God's testing. Perhaps He is not proving to us-- certainly He is not proving to Himself, because He already knows!-- but actually proving to the spirit world who we really are. This seems to be the case in Job. And it would explain Genesis 22 when the angel speaks for the Lord "Now I know..." because it would be speaking for the whole spirit realm. It would also explain why Jesus himself needed to be tested, apart from the fact that He needed to be like us.