In Matthew 4:7 Jesus says “You shall not put your God to the test.”
It is a grave sin to tempt God.
It is a grave sin to tempt God by putting Him on the spot and twisting His arm to do something in order to make one’s theology work.
A fanatical faith-healing family ended up committing such a sin leading to the death of their children.
Catherine Schaible and her husband Herbert will be charged with murder as their infant died of pneumonia as a direct result of their stubborn refusal of medical intervention. Three years ago the same episode happened when this family refused medical help on another child who also died of pneumonia.
The family’s pastor advised them to call for help, but testified that the husband “said if he called anyone, it would be a denial of his faith that God could heal the child.”
We are dealing here with a situation that is very similar to what happened in Exodus 17 when Israel ran out of water in the wilderness. After all that God has done for them, after numerous miracles and wonders they quarreled with Moses and tempted God. They tested the LORD by asking “Is the LORD among us or not?” Ex 17:7
In Deut 9:22 the Bible tells us that this testing was actually a provocation: “you provoked the LORD to wrath.”
They put God on the spot with the attitude of You-better-help-us-or-else. This led to a stern commandment from God in Deut 6:16 which was cited by Jesus as the devil was tempting Him “Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.”
By refusing antibiotic treatment for their children (on two deadly occasions) this family tempted God. They were essentially saying we have these modern medications which will heal our children, but we refuse them… we are faith healers and we are making you LORD responsible to do this…
God will not be intimidated by Satan, much less a human.
He is sovereign over all, and His ways are not our ways. His ways are perfect, and He will not allow Himself to be tested by fanatics who want to prove their theology right.
When we find ourselves in difficult situations, in dilemmas, or in poor health we must lift up humble prayers and allow God to sovereigntly intervene.
And never tempt Him.