Whether it’s an academic one, a financial one, or when my doctor takes my blood, I don’t like tests. The good thing is that God never gives a bad test. His tests are always for our good. They are also a tool God uses to grow us. Here’s how.
In the New International Version, Psalm 11:5 reads, “The Lord examines the righteous,” while the King James says, “The Lord trieth the righteous.”
The original Hebrew language helps us to understand how we got these two translations. My Old Testament Word Study Bible says that the words “examine” or “trieth” are bachan, which means “to test, prove, examine, search out, purify, to look out, to watch. This word denotes an investigation to determine the essential qualities of an object, especially integrity.”
Now check this out. In its entirety, Psalm 11:5 reads like this: “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.”
When I read this Scripture and the definition of bachan, I got excited because the word “but” indicates that those who don’t know God aren’t tested by Him in the way that those who know Him are. Therefore, bachan–or testing to determine integrity and essential qualities–is reserved only for the righteous and it’s a privilege!
Webster’s Dictionary describes a privilege as, “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage or favor.” The word “peculiar” gives me a chuckle. Examinations and tests can certainly sometimes seem like a peculiar benefit for the person who fills the position of knowing Christ. But that is exactly how God sees them. Tests that come from Him are a privilege of position. God cares enough to test the hearts of those who know Him, which leads to greater joy because it makes us more like Him.
What you are experiencing is known by God and it may be that He is testing your integrity, doing an investigation of your heart, and purifying you. Are you going through a test in your finances, marriage, or faith? You can pass God’s test. Aren’t you glad that He cares enough about you to make you more like Him?