Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
If we examine these verses, we note that the specific purpose of the desert was a «test bench»; for this reason four reasons are mentioned why God caused the people of Israel to pass through the desert:
To humiliate you…
God led the people of Israel to the desert to humble him in his own self-reliance and lead him to a total dependence on Him. Today God does the same with us, it allows us to spend desert periods characterized by lack of self-sufficiency (for example, lack of money , food), to make us understand that we must depend directly on the One who is Enough, the unique who compensates for our needs.
To know what was in your heart…
God knew what was in the hearts of the people of Israel (evil, unbelief, rebellion), but he wanted them to learn about them for change! In fact, the last to see our failures are ourselves and the only way we have to change is to discover what is really in our heart, and this is revealed only at the time of the test.
To prove it…
The tests are necessary to level up! Even Jesus was judged and approved because he always depended on the Father. Testing is the best time to prove who we really are.
To in the end it might go well with you…
The Lord makes us feel hungry, thirsty, etc. because he wants to teach us that He is the one who always and in all circumstances provides. Also, to show that if we fully cling to Him during the test, everything will work out.
He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
The Tests serves to make our flesh die (natural senses, our ideas, our ways and our carnal attitudes) so as not to put more resistance to God and listen and practice his Word.