The Test!

The Test!
From the March 27th reading
How do you handle tests? Do you freeze up or do you handle them with ease?
Judges 2:21-22
“I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did.” (NIV)
  • Joshua and the leaders of Israel had all passed away.
  • The first generation of Israelites did a horrible job of passing down what Moses and Joshua had commanded them. (Vv. 10-11)
  • The people forsook all of the Laws, decrees, rituals, and sacrifices.
  • This all happened within one generation!
  • God left other nations in Israel to test them
  • Israel failed the test and God judged them.



  • It didn’t take long for the nation of Israel to forget where they came from and all that God had done for them.
  • It also didn’t take long for Christianity to turn into a religion and to walk away from the true teachings of Christ (See Galatians)
  • The church has been divided ever since, and we have become scattered and weak.
  • God leaves things in our lives to test us as well. (Ex. Paul in 2 Cor. 12:7)
John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t—the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun when he visited a second-hand book store and selected a book that interested him. When he began to browse the book, however, it was not the words of the book that intrigued him, but the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. It didn’t take long to locate her address—she lived right there in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year the two of them grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared about her, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting—7:00 p.m. at the Grand Central Station in New York. “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen. I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: “A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. ‘Going my way, sailor?’ she murmured. “Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible; her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. “I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small, worn, blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “‘I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?’” “The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. ‘I don’t know what this is about, son,’ she answered, ‘but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!’”
(Taken from Youth Specialties “Hot Illustrations)
A test is sometimes the only way we can know what’s in our hearts. Sometimes it is a flirtatious smile from a co-worker, or maybe it is “accidentally” checking the wrong box on our tax return. Either way, these can be tests that check our integrity and our faithfulness. Most tests happen when no one else is looking. In the case of the nation of Israel it was when everyone was looking, especially God! They had failed to remove all of the foreign nations in their newly conquered territory, and God decided He would use these foreigners to test the faithfulness of His chosen people. Unfortunately they failed!
“The summary in vv.20-23 closely resembles the stern pronouncement of vv.1-3 by the angel of the Lord. Violating the covenant meant a slower conquest of Canaan. The nations would be left there to test Israel’s desire to obey the Lord (v.33). The constant pressure from a pagan culture would prove who the genuine believers really were.” (The Expositors Bible Commentary).
Many times God allows things to stay in our lives in order to test our resolve and our faith. Paul asked three times that a “thorn in his flesh” be removed (2 Cor. 12). We can only speculate what the “thorn” was, but the words that Paul was given remain true today – “My grace is sufficient for you”!
What kinds of tests have you been given? What test are you experiencing right now? Remember God can not tempt us, but He most certainly does test us!
Ask God to help you to remain faithful and true to the tests that He lays in your path. Pray that you will not fail, and if you do fail, remember He will forgive.
If you would like more information about how you can have a relationship with Him or how to grow in your faith, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at