Psalm 78:56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God And did not keep His testimonies
Tempted can be translated as testing. The New Living Translation says that they “kept testing”. It was not a one time thing, but a perpetual thing. The people had a cycle going where they would rebel against God, judgement would come, then they would repent for a little while, before rebelling another time. That is what the whole book of Judges is about. God would judge the nation for sin and then raise up leaders to call them back to Him afterwards. Israel kept doing this to they were taken captive by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Why would they keep testing God?
Well, why do we? Why do we keep testing God at times to see how far we can stray and still have His favor? We seem to act as toddlers sometimes, trying to find that line with their parents. It is because we have a sinful nature. And that nature leads us to rebel against God. No matter how long you have been saved, it is still a battle. The Apostle Paul struggled with this. If you doubt this, read Romans 7. He struggled with His sinful nature, but He knew Jesus was there to help him. There is spiritual warfare going on around us, as Satan and his demons want to tears away from walking close to God.
Now in Malachi, God says to test Him. There is a difference between the Psalm testing and the Malachi testing. In the Psalm way, we are seeing how far we can get away with sinful habits. In Malachi, God says to test His faithfulness by full trusting in Him. God wants us to test Him by fully relying on Him. By living a faith full life, dependent on Him. This way brings us closer to God, the other is us pulling a way from God.
Dear God, help me in my struggles with my sinful nature. Give me the strength to fight the battle and resist the evil one. Help my walk with You grow. Help me to live a faith full life, trusting in You. Lead me in the way You want and help me to stay on Your faith. I thank you for Your amazing grace when I fall. Your grace picks me up and shows me Your awesome love. Thank you for being near me, not because I have earned it, but all because of what Jesus did on the cross and Your free gift. Lord, You alone are worthy of all my praise and worship. Amen!