By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
“For G-d your G-d is testing you to know whether you do in fact love G-d your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Tests are given to a person like everything else G-d creates, for the good of the person. When G-d wants to bring out the best in a person, when G-d wants to find an excuse to give a person reward he places him in a test.
G-d said. “ Abraham will become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the world will be blessed through him. For I have known and cherished him because he instructs his sons and his household after him to keep the way of G-d.” Abraham had to prove himself by overcoming ten tests.
The mere fact that G-d puts us in these situations and in today’s day and age when “darkness covers over the earth” tests are more than ever before, demonstrates, we have the strength to successfully overcome this tests and difficulties.
When a student in school or a soldier in the army successfully overcomes their test, they are promoted to the next higher class and rank and receive greater rewards. Life is an assignment from G-d, a mission up to the finishing line. The further we advance and grow in this mission the greater the recognition and reward in the phase when remuneration for all the sweat and tears is dispensed.
The bible speaks of five different categories and types of tests.
There is the test of sacrificing the self. You are challenged to compromise your faith and association with G-d or else they will kill you. In communist Russia, people who taught religion and belief in G-d where severely punished.
There is the test of accepting difficulties with love. When a person hears they lost their job or G-d forbid have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Do they fall apart, complain, and protest the injustices of life and the world, or, do they reinforce and draw from their faith strength to accept in love that everything is always for the good.
Being rich and having the good life is a more challenging test than being poor and having it difficult. This is the third category of tests. Unfortunately the tendency is when things are good to become insensitive to the blessings that come from G-d and to forget the needs of the less fortunate.
The third test G-d presents is to see whether a person becomes more spiritually connected when life is good or does the person becomes more engrossed and absorbed in materiality.
The fourth test is to take control and break the lures of physical enticements. Mysticism explains we have a G-dly soul and an animal soul that dwells primarily in the flesh. Our free choice as human beings is to decide whether we will give in to the selfish drives of the animal within or elevate our lives to higher and nobler purposes than our self-indulgent desires.
The fifth test is that of faith itself. When we see or hear horrendous things happening in the world. When we hear of bad people seemingly having it easy. When we ourselves, G-d forbid have it tough, do we still believe there is an all knowing merciful G-d who is infinite, who created the world and is behind every detail of existence? Or, do we foolishly conclude there is no G-d. Or, if there ever was a G-d He has long ago left the scene.
Overcoming tests are a very difficult part of life. The price in physical and psychological energy is pretty high. In the end however, the satisfaction and pleasure of success and the reward outweighs by far any of the hardships getting there.
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