Exodus 16:4, "...that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction."

by Matt Slick

"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Behold, I will 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 or not they will walk in My instruction,'" (Exodus 16:4).

Is God ignorant of what the outcome will be in a given test?  The open theists would say yes, but this cannot be since God knows all things (1 John 3:20).  This testing is not so God will learn.  Instead, it is for the strengthening and purification of the faith of God's people, so they might learn and grow through trials.  The testing here is the training they will need for the future.

The word for "test" here is nacah.  It means to "test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof or test."1 The word does cover the aspect of proving, putting to the test, which is what God was doing to the Israelites.  It does not mean that God had to learn something new.

  • 1. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1995.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.