You know, it is pretty common today that we hear derogatory sayings towards Christians all the time; God dam it, Jesus Christ, Jesus freak, hypocrite, why does God do this to me? You may even hear, “If there was a God,” why does He let all these evil things happen in the world? Another one that I hear to cover a multitude of worldly sin is; “God didn’t write the bible, man did.” These are sayings from people that just show their ignorance of the Word and want to follow their own worldly pleasures. First off, before we begin our study, let me set the record straight about where the Word of God comes from. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that the “whole bible” was given to us by “inspiration from God” and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and helps us do what is right. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:17). This is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, and to be fully equipped to do good to everyone.
Now lets take this one step further. Knowing first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21). No prophecy recorded in Scripture was ever thought up by the prophet himself. It was the “Holy Spirit” within these “godly men” who gave them true messages from God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1). Before anything else existed was the Word (Christ was the Word), “He has always been alive and in Himself God.” His personal expression of Himself to men. Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160). Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35). The Word was from the beginning, and it will remain forever. Just one more thing for the record before we begin our study. “Over 2,500 times the bible says: “THUS SAITH THE LORD.” What do you think that means? Where do you think that comes from?
Now, to begin our study about not tempting God, lets start in the book of Matthew when Christ Himself was tempted by Satan. This took place after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in Jordan.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Matthew 4:1-1). Christ will set the example of what will happen to us by being tempted by Satan in our everyday life.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (Matthew 4:1-2). Christ was hungered. Forty here means probation, just as we are all on probation in this life.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Matthew 4:1-3). Satan being that tempter and he would tempt Christ with scripture.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:1-4). Christ would also use scripture to fight off Satan as another example to us. This scripture that Christ used "man shall not live by bread alone" is written in (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. (Matthew 4:1-5). To the roof of the temple in Jerusalem.
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Matthew 4:1-6). Satan is tempting God! What Satan is quoting here is from Psalms 91:11-12, but he twisted the scripture just a little bit. Compare the two scriptures and see if you can find the fault in what Satan is saying. Remember that Satan is a scripture lawyer and he knows the scriptures, but he loves to trip people up with the Word, just enough to throw them off from the truth.
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:1-7). Never tempt God to show someone He exists.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. (Matthew 4:1-8). Satan was not only tempting God, but he was trying to entice Christ into tempting God. “What a fool Satan can be at times.” Here we have Emanuel, “God with us” in the flesh and Satan is trying to turn Him against Himself.
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:1-9). This proves that all these “things of the world” were Satan's to give. He is the prince of the air and can offer you a lot of things of the world if you except them.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:1-10). Christ wanted no part of what Satan could offer.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan had no choice but to go because Christ has all authority over him. You don’t want to tempt God, or He just might deal with you in the same way.
Now, can man be tempted by God? No… Whenever someone wants to do wrong it is never God tempting them. God never wants to do wrong and will never tempt anyone else to do wrong. Temptation comes from man’s own evil thoughts and wishes. (James 1:13-14). Temptation can also come from the Devil as we have seen in the above scriptures.
What happens when we follow these lustful thoughts and temptations? They lead to sin and death. (James 1:15).
Lets go back to the Old Testament and see what happened to the people who “tempted God” and spoke against God and Moses. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. (Numbers 21:5-6). Not a very pleasant experience. “They tempted God and were destroyed by serpents and they murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer.” (1 Corinthians 10:9-10).
These things were written long ago as an example to us. (1 Corinthians 10:11, Romans 15:4). Don’t tempt God! Peter even rose up as he addressed the Pharisees and the brethren saying. Why tempt ye God? (Acts 15:10).
So, what about when temptation from Satan or the world comes upon us? Be careful! Don’t think that temptation or tempting God will never come upon you. (1 Corinthians 10:12).
But, remember this. If temptation comes upon you, this is nothing new. Many others have faced the same problems before. One thing is for sure; you can trust God that He will never let any temptation come upon you that you cannot handle, and He will always show you a way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13). God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation. (2 Peter 2:9).Again, don’t temp God, or you may find yourself in for a long road of troubles ahead. So let me leave you with this scripture and words of encouragement. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. (James 1:12). On the good side, if you obey God and endure temptation, when you are tried, you will receive “the crown of life” that He has promised to those who love Him.
Keep The Faith,