Tuesday, March 8
Reader: “You must not test”
Response: “the Lord your God.”
Scripture: Luke 4:9-13
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
Whether the movement among the three temptations was in thought (most probably), in a vision, or in actuality, we come to the third temptation, the temptation to test God’s care of his own. From the pinnacle of the Temple to the ground was about 100 feet or ten stories high. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12, but did so out of context. For he left out a key phrase, “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” Some translations read “in all your ways.” There are conditions to this promise. This section of the psalm begins with, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter . . .” In other words, protection comes to those who walk in the path of trust and faithfulness to God. The promise does not apply to those who act foolishly to test God. Whenever the devil quotes Scripture you can be sure it is out of context!
The Scriptures say that the devil left Jesus for “a more opportune time.” The devil wasn’t done with Jesus. He tried to kill him at birth via King Herod. He undoubtedly tempted him all through his growing up years. We have this occurrence. Peter tried to talk Jesus out of going to the cross and Jesus addressed him with a strong rebuke, “get behind me Satan.” Satan entered Judas for the purpose of betraying Jesus and there was the mighty struggle in Gethsemane as Jesus sweated drops of blood. The devil was relentless then and he is relentless now.
The first question in the Bible comes from none other than the devil, “Did God really say?” Can you trust God to tell you the whole truth? Test him. Exert your own will. See for yourself. What is your experience? Aren’t you curious if God will come through? This method of Satan is as old as God forming Adam from the dust of the earth. The bottom line in the three temptations to Jesus was the same: exert your own will and bypass your Father’s plan of salvation by taking power and glory for yourself now. Had Jesus yielded, there would be no perfect sacrifice, no redemption, no salvation, no eternal life, and eternal separation from God with no possibility of restoration . . .ever.
Glory to God for our victorious Christ!
Music: “I Need Thee Every Hour” Sam Robson I’ve used this before but perfect for today.
Some testimonials to this piece: “This song got me through more than a few missions flying combat in Afghanistan during the spring of 2014.”
“Sam, this is deeply personal, but you were a very big part of my accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I heard this and fell to my knees in worship. I have not been the same since for I have been truly changed. You had a hand in my Saving… Just thought you should know.”
O Lord, never suffer us to think that we can stand by ourselves and not need thee. Amen.
―John Donne, (1571-1631) from Eerdmans’ Book of Famous Prayers, p.52