By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
The Bible says. “If a prophet will arise from among you, or a person who has a vision in his dream, and he indicates to you a sign (in the heavens), or a miracle (upon the earth), and then the sign or the miracle which he told you happens, (and he) says, “Let’s go after other gods which are unacquainted to you, and let’s worship them!” You should not listen to the words of that prophet, or to the person, who had a vision in his dream, 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.”
G-d is giving this false prophet the possibility to change the rules of nature and make a supernatural event, when he is a false and misleading individual, just to test us! Does G-d really need this, to know if we really love him or not? G-d knows everyone’s mind and heart. G-d is everywhere. “The whole world is filled with His glory,” including one’s mind and heart. Why would G-d need a scheme and method to discover who we are and what’s really going on within us?
When creating the world, G-d made rules of nature that are meant to specifically follow a predictable pattern, so that we should think the world runs on its own, without any Divine intervention. There is a general rule, “G-d does not make a miracle and change these rules of nature that He Himself put in to place unless there is some real purpose and reason to do so.”
Since G-d knows everything, why is G-d, allowing a miracle to take place just to test and see if we will fall for this grandiose show of power from an individual or not? If nature dictates that the miracles not take place, why is G-d giving this person the possibility to break the rules of nature?
In regards to tests, we are already acquainted with them, right at the beginning of Genesis.
Abraham was blessed miraculously with a child at the age of 100, something which was totally unusual and supernatural even for that time. G-d promised Abraham that He would make a great nation out of this child Isaac, and at the age of 37, G-d asks Abraham to “bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, where I will tell you.”
Why did G-d do this? What was the purpose?
The Bible tells us, “..Now I know that you are a G-d fearing man and that you did not withhold your son, your only one from, me.”
The commentator Rashi explains “now I know…”, ” G-d says, there are nations and Satan who pester me all the time with questions why am I showing favoritism to you. But now I can make known to them, and answer them, when they see for themselves the dedication and loyalty you have for G-d.”
In our verse regarding the false prophet the Bible uses the same wording. “To know whether you do in fact love G-d …..” According to Rashi’s understanding of the word, “to know”, it would mean to make known to the world.
When we are faced with struggles and personal challenges and we overcome them, this is making a loud statement to our surroundings and the world. Notwithstanding our tests on our faith we remain strong, we still believe firmly. This becomes an influence on our surroundings and helps fulfill the purpose we were put in this world to begin with, “ “to perfect the world under the sovereignty of the Almighty.”
Besides having proven ourselves to G-d and therefore earned a special closer relationship with Him, we become partners with G-d in imbuing the world with His awareness and spirituality.The world is elevated and refined further every time we overcome a personal challenge.
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