Journey Through the Book of Matthew
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.’”
At the Jesus’s baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He, Satan, saw the Father’s glory descending upon His Son. He had heard the voice of God the Father testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam’s sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God. Communication between heaven and earth had been through Christ. Now that Jesus had come “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. Before He had communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ.
Satan had hoped that God’s abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was apparent that the connection between God and man had been restored.
Satan saw that he must either conquer or be conquered. The issues of the conflict involved too much to be entrusted to his confederate angels. He must personally conduct the warfare. All the energies of apostasy were rallied against the Son of God. Christ was made the mark of every weapon of hell.
So Satan continued with his attack upon Christ. Having failed to convince Christ into turning the stones into bread to satisfy his hunger, he now brought Christ up to the highest point on the temple and told him; “Jump, through yourself down! If you are really the Son of God, and Satan certainly new that Jesus was, throw yourself down and have your angels help you or better yet, save yourself.
Satan then quoted part of the 91st Palm, verses 11 and 12. 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
If we feel that we know the scripture better than the Devil, let them think again. Satan knows the scriptures by heart and will bend them, mold them, and only quote part of the scripture in order to prove his point.
Christ had no need to argue. He wrote the scripture through His profits. He knew Satan was using this text out of context. The 91st Psalm is a wonderful tribute to how God protects those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. How we will prosper and protect us when we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. If you are truly abiding in Christ, would you purposely place yourself in a position that would place yourself out of his protection? Certainly not! Because we abide in Christ, Christ will cause a thousand to fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuse, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For he has give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your way. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
This beautiful Psalm is a promise given to God’s last day people on how he will protect and guide those that truly love him into all true and that those who follow Him with all there heart shall escape the plagues that befall in the end of the time.
Jesus did not argue this point. Instead he quoted Deuteronomy 6:16; You shall not tempt the LORD your God.
The words used by Christ to spoil this attempt by Satan were originally spoken by Moses with reference to the first occasion in the wilderness when the children of Israel murmured for water (see Ex. 17:1–7). God provided His people with abundant evidence that He was leading His people and would provide their every need.
For example, the wonders of divine power displayed in Egypt at the time of their deliverance. Then the dramatic deliverance at the Red Sea, followed by the sending of the manna. Upon being supplied with food, the people had humbly promised that in the future they would trust the Lord. Yet, it was just a short time later, when given an opportunity to exercise faith, they accused Moses of intending to dispose of them in order that he might enrich himself by their possessions (Ex. 17:1–4).
In spite of the evidence of divine kindness for their needs, they “tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Ex. 17:7). They put God to the test; that is, they challenged Him to prove His divine power.
Their sin consisted in the fact that they came to God in the wrong spirit—one of demanding with complaining and anger rather than that of a humble, patient faith. Unless their demand was met they refused to believe in God.
It was in this same spirit that Satan now proposed that Christ should put His Father to the test. Instead of accepting by faith the Father’s proclamation at the Jordan in affirming Him to be the Son of God; Satan tempted Jesus to experiment or test God the Father in order to prove to His satisfaction that this was so. But such an experiment would spread doubt upon the heavenly throng rather than strengthening their faith.
Jesus desired to lift up the faith of the angels in heaven and in fallen man, so He responded, “You shall not tempt the LORD your God.”
Do we sometimes temp God as the ancient Israelites and Satan did? Do we make demands God asking Him to fulfill our needs? God has always said he would supply our every need. It is a matter of faith in God that we rely upon God for our every need. He has never promised to make us rich in the things of this earth, but like the manna given to the children of Israel each day, he has promised to give us daily what we need.
Again, the devil took Him up . . . .