Ephesians 6:17; God is near in every temptation.

Class Outline:

Wednesday June 29,2022

Satan is not interesting in testing us. His temptations are always with malicious intent to destroy life.


Destroying life in a believer while he or she remains alive.


This taken alone makes us feel like we are alone. The great foe of God is given opportunity to destroy us. But with some desire to know what is in the word of God, i.e., why is this recorded for us, we find out that in fact, God is here, and actually in every test or trial or temptation. God’s allowance, or permissive will, is not as hands off as it may sound.


In everything that God allows, He is also working.


MAT 4:3-4

"If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"


I start here again so that we might see how we develop the use of the sword of the Spirit. Jesus’ response is “written.” It would make sense that He chose a particular passage on purpose. Do we care to know why? And if we do, or at least say we do, do we look it up so as to try to understand why He uses this particular passage, or do we move on quickly, busy with other things, trying to get our Bible reading done as quickly as possible? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a quick and cursory Bible reading is better than nothing at all, but if that is how it always is, you will never really learn anything.


If we look up the passage in Deuteronomy we find something good.


DEU 8:1-5

“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 2 And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.”


Hold on to that thought: The Lord was disciplining you as a son. Israel is God’s son as in EXO 4:22; JER 31:9; HOS 11:1-4.


Now another “Son of God” is in the wilderness, this time for forty days rather than forty years, but the number and the title link them together, one the failure, the other the Victor. Upon this victory will Jesus enter into His calling, His own Promised Land where He will give His life to take many sons with Him.


We find that while it is true that the devil is allowed to tempt us, all in all, God is testing us to show our hearts. The temptations of Christ show us what was in His heart. Our temptations will show us what is in ours. Underlying everything is God making us more like Himself, and therefore better. By searching the Scriptures, though it takes some time and work, we discover more about God.


We discover, in fact, that all three passages quoted by Jesus come from Deu 6-8, the part of Moses’ address to the Israelites before their entry into Canaan in which he reminds them of their forty years of wilderness experiences. It has been a time of preparation and of proving the faithfulness of their God. God had deliberately put Israel through a time of privation as an educative process. They should have been learning what it means to live in trusting obedience to God.


DEU 6:16

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.”


DEU 6:13

“You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name.”


That He is the Son of God was just a little over a month ago declared by the Father from the heavens as Jesus came out of the Jordan. ISA 42:1 was spoken from heaven and “this” One is “My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” This special relationship, the Servant of God in Isaiah, between Jesus and the Father was authoritatively declared and now the devil is putting it under scrutiny.


Satan is not so much attempting Jesus to act like deity. He is trying to drive a wedge between Jesus and the Father by getting Jesus out of sync with the Father’s will and timing.


Satan is not asking Jesus to show Himself to the world through miracles. Jesus will do that in the near future. Satan is trying to drive a wedge between the humanity of the Son of God and the Father. Jesus might act on His own, apart from the Father’s will. In the same way, years later, at the end of His ministry, the people around the cross would put Jesus’ sonship in question when they challenged Him to come down from the cross. “If you are the Son of God come down from the cross” (MAT 27:40).