Tempting God



Tempting God. As we continue our devotional study on the Words of Christ, we return to the temptation of Christ by Satan. At this point, Matthew 4 and Luke 4, which both contain this account, use a different order. Matthew shows this as the second temptation and Luke shows it as the third temptation.


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5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
      ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’
   and,
      ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
      Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

Matthew 4:5-7, NKJV



9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
      ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,
      To keep you,’
 11 and,
      ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
      Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

Luke 4:9-12, NKJV


Tempting God


In the accounts given, Satan takes Jesus up to the highest pinnacle of the temple and says, "If you are really God, just throw yourself down, because God will send His angels to protect you and to keep you from harming yourself."



Notice the subtlety of Satan. Everything he said was true, but the real question is, was it necessary that Jesus do what Satan said in order to prove that He was the Son of God? No! When Satan tempts us, we do not have to give in to what he says, no matter how reasonable it may sound. There is nothing we need to prove to Satan!



How did Jesus respond? Again, He responded with Scripture, this time from Psalm 91. And, as in the first temptation, Satan had no response to Scripture.


16 “You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah. Deuteronomy 6:16, NKJV


Jesus, not dwelling on the actual charge of Satan, went beyond his words to uncover what he was actually doing. He was actually trying to cause Jesus to tempt God. Does Satan do this same thing to us today? Of course!



How many times, when discussing the Lord with people, do we think we have to make excuses for God? To their questions such as, "Why do babies die?" we seem to think we need to make an excuse for God. In other words, we, then, are tempting God. In truth, we do not know why babies die, but we do know this: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NKJV)



The reason bad things happen, even to good people, is related to sin which was brought here by Satan himself. Yet, man seems to want to blame God for not stopping the bad things from happening. Man wants a God who allows all evil and yet prevents evil from happening to them.



Thank God that we have such a perfect, just, and holy God, who works all things out for the good of His people. We do not have to make excuses for God, neither should we tempt God. Our duty is to trust His goodness, His mercy, and His judgment, knowing that everything is working according to His just and holy plan.



What an amazing God we serve. We will spend eternity marveling at His grace, His goodness, and His mercy.




Tempting God

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