You shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
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Augustine of Hippo
Take, for instance, the text “God tempts no one”: it cannot be understood as meaning every kind of temptation but only of a particular kind which God doesn’t tempt anyone with. Otherwise that other text, “the Lord your God is tempting you,” would be false. Otherwise too we might be denying that Christ is God or that the gospel is not telling the truth when we read that he questioned one of the disciples, “tempting him, but he himself knew what he was going to do.” You see, there is a temptation that leads to sin, and in that way God tempts no one. Then there is a temptation or testing that proves the quality of faith, and that way even God is prepared to tempt people. In the same sort of way, when we hear “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit,” we shouldn’t take it as meaning every kind of blaspheming, just as in the other case we don’t understand every kind of tempting.
He permits us to be tested not in order that he, for whom nothing lies hidden, might know but in order that he might make us know the extent of our progress in love for him. According to this same mode of speech our Lord also says that he does not know the day or the hour of the end of the world. What can there be that he does not know? He was concealing it from the disciples for their benefit, and he said that he did not know it because he was causing them not to know by concealing it. On Genesis, Against the Manichaeans.
God is said to know even when he causes someone to know, as it has been written: “The Lord your God puts you to the test that he might know if you love him.” Now this manner of speaking does not mean that God does not know; rather, [it was said] in order that people might know how far they have progressed in the love of God—a thing which is not fully recognized by them except by way of the testings which come about. As for the expression “he puts to the test,” it means that God permits testing. Therefore when it is also said that God does not know, this means either that he does not approve (i.e., does not recognize [as conformable to] his discipline and teaching), as it has been said: “I do not know you.” Or [it means] that he causes people not to know for their own good, because it serves no useful purpose for them to know. Accordingly the text “the Father alone knows” is correctly grasped if understood to say that he causes the Son to know, and the text “the Son does not know,” if u...
Trieth you, not in order to induce you to embrace evil, (James i. 13,) nor to discover your real dispositions, but to lay open your hearts to yourselves and to the world, (Haydock) that, if you continue steadfast, others may be encouraged to imitate you; but if you fall, they may take warning, and stand with all humility and circumspection. (Calmet)
Appear. Hebrew, "to know, or to disclose. "(Menochius)
Hence [Montanus] richly deserved that it also ought to be said of him and his writings: “If there rises in the midst of you a prophet, you shall not hear the words of that prophet.” And why not? “For,” it is said, “the Lord your God tries you whether you love him or not.” By virtue of these many convincing examples from church history and others of the same kind, we must clearly perceive and, according to the rules of Deuteronomy, fully understand that if at any time a teacher of the church deviates from the faith, divine providence permits this to happen in order to test and to try us, “whether we love God or not with all our heart and all our soul.” Since this is so, we may say that a true and genuine Catholic is the person who loves the truth of God, the church and the body of Christ. [Such a person] does not put anything above divine religion and the Catholic faith—neither the authority, nor the affection, nor the genius, nor the eloquence nor the philosophy of any other human bein...