Shlomo Ezagui

The five tests with which God Challenges us.

“For God, your God is testing you to know whether you do love God your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Tests are given to a person, like everything else God creates, for the person’s good. When God wants to bring out the best in a person or when God wants to find an excuse to reward a person, he places him in a test.

God 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 God.” Abraham had to prove himself by overcoming ten tests.

The mere fact God 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 that we have the strength to overcome.

When a student in school or a soldier in the army successfully overcomes their tests, they are promoted to the next class or rank and receive greater rewards. Life is an assignment from God, a mission. The further we advance and grow in this mission, the greater the recognition by God and reward, when remuneration for all the sweat and tears is dispensed. (The World To Come & times of Moshiach)

The Bible speaks of five different categories and types of tests.

  1. There is the test of sacrificing the self. You are challenged, to compromise your faith and association with God, or else you will be killed. In communist Russia, people who taught religion and belief in God were severely punished.
  2. There is the test of accepting difficulties with love. When a person learns they have lost their job or, God 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 draw from their faith the strength to accept in love that everything is always for the good?
  3. Being rich and living the good life is a more challenging test than being poor and having it difficult. This is the third category of tests. Unfortunately, when things are good, we tend to become insensitive to the blessings that come from God and forget the needs of the less fortunate. The third test orchestrated by God is to see whether a person becomes more spiritually connected when life is good or becomes more engrossed and absorbed in the material world.
  4. The fourth test is to take control and break the lures of physical enticements. Mysticism explains that we have a Godly soul and an animal soul, the latter of which dwells primarily in the flesh. Our free choice as human beings is to decide whether we will give in to the animal’s selfish drives or elevate our lives to higher and nobler purposes than our physical materialistic desires.
  5. 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, God forbid, have it tough, do we still believe there is an omniscient and merciful God who is infinite, who created the world in kindness, justice, with great intelligence and is behind every detail of existence? Or, do we foolishly conclude there is no God or that, if there ever was a God, He has long ago left the scene?

Overcoming tests is a challenging and tough part of life. The price of physical and psychological energy is high. In the end, however, the pleasure of success and the rewards promised to us by God Himself in our Holy Torah far outweigh any of the hardships encountered in getting there.


About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
Related Topics
Related Posts