WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 23, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T TEST GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God’” (Matthew 4:7 New King James Version).
Nobody is above temptation. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was tempted, but the Bible says He did not sin. Human beings are still faced with the same temptations that Jesus faced today. We must learn from Jesus how He overcame Satan’s temptations so that we also can walk in victory.
In the last temptation that Jesus faced in Luke 4:1-13, Satan took Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the Temple, and asked Him to throw Himself down to prove that He was the Son of God. He supported his temptation with the scripture. He quoted Psalm 91:11-12, but twisted it, to assure Jesus that the angels would protect Him and He would suffer no harm (verses 10-11).
Matthew 4:7 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God’” (New King James Version). Luke 4:12 also records this. Some Bible translations use “test” instead of “tempt.” “Jesus said to him, ‘Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God’” (World English Bible).
Jesus quoted this scripture from the book of Deuteronomy. “You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah” (Deuteronomy 6:16 New King James Version). The Contemporary English Version puts the verse thus: “So don’t try to make him prove that he can help you, as you did at Massah.”
What did the Israelites do at Massah, which the LORD, through Moses, was warning them not to repeat? The record is in Exodus 17:1-7. While in the wilderness, on their journey from Egypt, they lacked water to drink and to give their animals. Therefore, the people began to complain to Moses until He cried to the LORD and He told him to strike the rock with the rod in his hand. Then water poured out for them and their animals to drink.
Exodus 17:7 says, “The people had complained and tested the LORD by asking, ‘Is the LORD really with us?’ So Moses named the place Massah, which means ‘testing’ and Meribah, which means ‘complaining’” (Contemporary English Version).
The LORD knew the challenge of water that the Israelites faced. He had brought them out of Egypt by a mighty hand. They didn’t need to doubt His love and care for them. They didn’t have to tell Moses that he brought them and their animals out of Egypt for them to die (verse 3). All they needed to do was to trust the LORD and obey Him, not to try to make Him prove that He could help them.
Satan wanted Jesus to test God in order to prove that He was the Son of God when God had already confirmed that. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17 New King James Version). Also, Satan wanted Jesus to test God to prove that He would protect Him. But Jesus refused to test God. He knew what God had said. He would not test Him but rather believe Him.
Furthermore, Jesus knew He was (and He’s still) the Son of God. Jesus didn’t allow Satan to induce Him to test God as the Israelites did. He trusted God; He didn’t test Him. He refused to be lured into a pointless, needless, and useless display of God’s power, which He possessed. He refused to put God to a test.
Jumping off the highest point of the Temple, as Satan demanded, to prove that He was the Son of God would be foolish and not a demonstration of faith in God. It would be presumptuous. Therefore, He didn’t expose Himself to needless danger, having the presumption, not faith, that God would protect Him. That would be testing God. Jesus was the Son of God and Satan could not make Him force God to offer further proof than what God had said.
A child of God shouldn’t expect a miracle when he acts presumptuously rather than in faith. He can’t act deliberately in folly and expect God’s power to protect him. Don’t fall into Satan’s temptation to put yourself deliberately in a negative situation so as to force God to prove His Word that He would protect you or that He loves you and cares for you. He has already given that assurance in His Word, and you should believe Him. He has said He would not leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t put God to a test.
To test Him amounts to a lack of faith in Him. You test God when you doubt Him and ask Him to do something for you in order to prove Himself to you. It’s like asking God for a sign instead of believing His Word. Luke 11:29 says as the crowd pressed in on Jesus, He said, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet” (New King James Version). Asking for a sign is not faith, as stated in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (New King James Version). Testing God is questioning Him or His Word. It is complaining or grumbling instead of having faith in Him.
Don’t test God. Believe His Word. Don’t let Satan make you doubt Him. Don’t let Satan tempt you to put yourself in a dangerous situation just to force God to prove that He can help you, protect you, provide for you, etc. though He is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
The only time God said in the Bible that He should be tested, tried, or proved was with regard to tithes. He told the Israelites, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10 King James Version). The Hebrew word “bachan” is used for “prove” here. It means to examine, to try, to prove. This type of testing God is not our focus here. A different Hebrew word “nacah” is used for “test” in Deuteronomy 6:16, which is our focus. It means to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, or put to the proof or test.
Trust God; don’t test Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall trust and obey You; I shall not test You. I shall not put myself in a dangerous situation just to force God to prove that He can help me, protect me, or provide me. Holy Spirit, help me detect any scheme by Satan to make me test God.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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