There are times in life when we need to test someone. Driver’s licences are one good example of a practical and necessary test. Our roads would be so much more unsafe if we did not give tests to see if someone had the basic skills necessary to safely drive a car. In Judges we are given a description of a test God gave the Israelites:
As a test for Israel, to see whether they would carefully walk in the Lord’s ways just as their ancestors had done, the Lord left these nations instead of driving them out immediately or handing them over to Joshua.
Much of Israel’s history with the Lord was one of disobedience. There were a few bright spots in their history, but for the most part they were unfaithful and disobedient to the covenant God had given them. As a result, God gave them this test. He left some of the nations around them instead of completely destroying them. In this way the Israelites would have to make a conscious decision whether or not to follow God and obey the covenant.
There are times in our lives when we have to make choices to obey the Lord or go along with the cultures around us. Every time we need to make a decision such as this, we can see it as a test of our faithfulness towards the Lord. The advantage we have over the Israelites in Judges is that we have the Holy Spirit within us. When we are faced with temptation, or simply a decision to follow God’s leading and will or our own (or our culture’s leading and determination of right and wrong), we can pray and ask God for his power and help in making the correct decision.