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Is God to be Tempted?

Deuteronomy 6:16 - “You shall not tempt the Lord your God…

 

Is this a scripture that you have heard before?  What does it mean to you?  Do you believe it?  Can you defend that position?

 

**Person opens up KJV

Psalm 106:13-14 KJV -  They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

 

So, what does this piece of scripture mean to you?  Does that first scripture sound different to you now? What if you read the full verse of the first scripture?

**Next person opens up NKJV – read all of Deuteronomy 6:16

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

 

Do you still feel as confident with saying that God cannot be tempted???

Don’t beat yourself up on your answer, if you can’t defend this position.  Many people have been stumped, because they just didn’t have the background.

Going back to the original Hebrew, the work being utilized here for temp is “nasaw” - תְנַסּ֔וּ

The reading from the NKJV looks like this:

Psalm 106:13-14 NKJV - They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel, But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
The purpose for this is to show you that Nasaw can easily be translated as either – to tempt/test/try/prove – put to the test

Merriam-Webster defines “tempt” as:

1 :  to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain

2 a  to make trial of :  test

b :  to try :  provoke 

3 a :  to induce to do something

 

Here are some struggles many men have with temptation.

Temptation is something we deal with all the time.  As men, we have a tendancy to put things into categories or temptation.  Things we know that are ok, but maybe not the best for us (ice cream/cookies/chocolate). 

No big deal right??  Unless we don’t leave the house, because we want to stay near the pantry.

So, crank it up a notch - Things we know won’t kill us if we do them in moderation, is socially acceptable and aren’t necessarily something that God labels a sin.  (having a beer/drink – in moderation)

Something we know is ok by society standard, but is against the word of God and we may not have spent much time to think about the consequences.  (lying, swearing, casual sex, lusting after or objectifying women)

Things that are ok by society standard, but is against the word of God and we have spent time thinking about the consequences, but chose to ignore God and do them anyway. (Adultry – maybe even porn)

Each one of these has some level of temptation involved with them.  In each instance, the devil knows our weakness and tempts us on a daily basis.  For us though – we are sinners – but through the blood and by the power of Jesus, we do NOT have to fall into that temptation.  Jesus will give us the strength – His strength, if we just call upon it.

 

Which brings us to Jesus.   

Luke 4:1-13 - Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

 

Peirazomenos Peirazomenos (Greek for tempt/try/test – as it does in Hebrew)

Jesus was tempted – and that was just for some bread.

And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”  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.  For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’  And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

 

Well that time never came.  Jesus set the standard very high – even if you think it – you can be held accountable “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Satan was the one that tempted Jesus, but Jesus walked away each time without sin. 

**Notes from meeting –

I don’t normally add in from discussions in the meetings themselves, but I felt this one was important and needed to be added.

  • A man that is known by one from our group and a good Christian man for all accounts, has been having a rough time, for what seems to be for quite a while.  Some health issues, which culminated into a colonoscopy which went awry, pierced the lining – which cause leakage and ultimately required doctors to cut him open and clean him out.  Not an easy task by any stretch and certainly not expected.   One of the guys from our group mentioned to him, just to keep persevering and to hand it over to God.  The response from this man is all too familiar – (paraphrased) I don’t know if I can keep on doing that, handing it over and over and over and persevering.  I don’t know if I can do it.

 

This is a very real conversation between two convicted men of God.  How difficult does it have to get, for us to get to that point where we feel like we are holding on by a single thread???  For this guy, we’d all like to have just the right scripture or comforting word to tell them in a time of need like this, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

 

One thing we must realize, as men of God is that when we are being badgered by the devil (Eph 6:12), either directly or indirectly – we become tempted to give up or to just stop persevering.  It’s HARD.  Believe me, I know.  It can get REALLY HARD – almost IMPOSSIBLE.  But, in the light of the alternative – if we chose to persevere, God has put out a lifeline – it’s His promise……. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7

 

In times when we struggle – especially when there seems like no end in sight – I challenge every man of God to just hand it over to God – to pray to Him and stay the course.  The moment you quit, the devil wins.  I KNOW, that when crap hits the fan and life gets really hard – that I am being called to buckle up, because there is going to be a ride involved – but I MUST remember, that God is in control and if I forget, I have to hand it over to Him – over and over again.  Ultimately, that peace which surpasses all understanding sets in.  The first time it happened, I won’t lie – it was kind of eerie.  Peace in a storm???  I have experienced this so many times now, that I KNOW when the ride is over and the dust/agony/suffering has settled, God opens up the next amazing blessing to me AND to you!!! 

 

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

 

What the devil uses for bad, God uses for good – even the terrible things He uses for good.

 

So, I end this subset discussion with a revelation that I had several years ago.  EVERY trial that I have, when I hand it over and persevere through the end, adds to God’s glory and to my testimony.  When I share God’s glory and my testimony with others – it has the effect to impact people’s lives in profound and unbelievable ways.  Lives change and they add to God’s glory and to their testimony as well.

 

Praise God!!!

 

Now, let me give you one more characterization.

Imagine a cute little puppy.  Now imagine that cute little puppy perked up to take a poop, woops, there you have a poop out in the grass.  So, a cute little poop.  Are you being tempted?? Of course NOT – that’ just stupid.  Am I trying to tempt you??  It’s gross, but yeah..

(if needed)

Ok – now – imagine something that you used to like doing, but you know it wasn’t God’s will for you to do.  And I say, hey – I have such and such for you.  Question here:

Am I trying to tempt you?

 

Temptation has two sides of the coin, in this example I am the external source doing the tempting.  You are the temptee, but in this instance – you are certainly not being tempted.  Whether you are tempted or not isn’t really the point.  Jesus led a perfect life.  Often discussions around tempation of God and Jesus are argued as being a contradiction in the Bible, to say that Jesus was not God, but merely a man. This temptation or testing is not a challenge to the deity of Christ any more than it was a challenge the divinity of God in the Old Testament.

 

The point here is that God and Jesus were tested and tempted repeatedly, by outside sources. 

 

Matthew 16:1 - Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

Matthew 19:3 - The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

Mark 8:11 - Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

And a final piece of scripture:

James 1:13 - Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

Accompanying scripture:

Malachi 3:10 - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

Matthew 5:28 – “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What an amazing opportunity it was to evangelize in Germany.  The trip may be over, and we may be back at it, with "life" but God moved in amazing ways and is continuing to do so.

God is so good!!!

Read about the trip: 

"Germany Mission"

If you have any questions Click here.

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