Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil… 9 And he (Satan) brought him (Jesus) to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Satan is a master when it comes to temptation and deception. He knows how to appeal to the most vulnerable areas of our lives during our weakest moments. For instance:
- After Jesus had fasted for forty days and was hungry, the devil tempted Him with bread.
- Knowing that Jesus had come to die on the cross in order to become the Savior of the world, Satan tempted Him with a shortcut – “Bow down and worship me and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world right now” – without the cruelness of the cross!
- People are going to question whether or not You really are the Son of God; therefore You should prove it right now by jumping off the highest part of the Temple and therefore allowing the world see just how much your heavenly Father really loves You.
Satan is so deceptive in his temptations that he even often uses portions of scripture to help reinforce what he is trying to lead us to do. Note how he quoted from the book of Psalms: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)
It is true, angels are said to be ministers unto God’s saints (Heb 1:14). Spurgeon believed that we have not just one angel to care for us, but all the angels. If angels will minister to lowly men, surely they would readily attend to the needs of God’s Son. Yet Jesus knew that to put our heavenly Father to such a test would be wrong. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In other words, we shall not test the love and patience of God by intentionally doing what we know to be sinful.
There are many ways that we can tempt the Lord our God. The nation of Israel did so through their willful disobedience to His Word. Yet the Bible says that God will not be mocked. (Gal 6:7-8) The one who sows to his flesh will of his flesh reap destruction.
Consider God’s strong words of rebuke to these rebellious Jews. “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.” (Jer 15:1) Because the nation of Israel had willfully chosen to rebel against God, they would reap the consequences of their actions. They would spend the next seventy years in captivity.
Let us take today’s study to heart and be careful to not deliberately tempt our God. How terrible it would be if we forced God to chasten us for our willful disobedience.