In Exodus 16, regarding the Manna, Yah says this, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may TEST them, whether they will walk in my law or not.”
There is a difference between “tempting” and “testing”. Depending on the translation of the Bible you are reading, the English words might seem interchangeable, but the context defines stark differences.
James 1:13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
So “temptation”, it seems, is when a choice is offered in the hopes that one chooses poorly and fails.
In contrast, a “test”, what Yah has offered to the Israelites here for a second time, is proposed in the hopes that one passes that test–or at the very least learns from their mistakes and grows.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
So tests and trials, like the “Test of the Manna”, are set before us for our own good.
It is the only the struggle to choose His ways over our own that builds spiritual muscle.
The “1,2,3,4,5,6, Rest” lesson isn’t simply to give us a break, nor just to elevate us above the animals—Sabbath is also a weekly opportunity to help us to be “perfect and complete”, as the quote from James just said, through passing a test. “Perfect and complete” is what the number 7 represents—and James would know that, as he and every other disciple had kept the seventh day holy for their entire lives.
Recently, the majority of human beings on earth have been “asked” by the various officials of the world, to stop working or to stay indoors. A perverse and unholy version of “remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place,” (Exodus 16:29)—and most, at least for a season, have complied to a large degree. Compliance has meant that every aspect of our lives has been crippled in some way, with no promise of restoration, provision, or even health—and yet most comply.
Ponder this sharp contrast:
For just about 4000 years, followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have been asked to volunteer a much more limited adjustment to our weekly lives, and the vast majority who have been invited have simply refused–flat out civilly-disobeyed! Yah Himself, is asking, and we are saying “no”–despite the fact that provision, restoration, and healing is PROMISED to us by the Creator of the universe.
Perhaps our denomination’s “statement of faith” is currently tempting us, or our money-focused culture is tempting us, our personal debt is tempting us, our fear of being different is tempting us.
Likely, our own spiritual inertia is tempting us.
But, at the end of every sixth day, Yah continues to test us.
Messiah said, “So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:6-9)