November 2, 2022 - Matthew 4

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (4:1). Can’t help but think about the writer of Hebrews’ observation: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). A full belly, deliverance, power and adoration: who would not desire such things! Satan knew precisely what he was doing; he was coming against Jesus at some of the most vulnerable spots for us as human beings. We are up against a wily adversary. To Eve he reasoned, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4,5). Paul warned that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Oh, how he schemes and deceives so that Paul must instruct: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

Satan, however, was no match for Jesus. To each temptation, Jesus answered from Scripture: “It is written . . . Again it is written . . . For it is written . . . (Matthew 4:4,7,10). Rightly does Solomon tell us, “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth” (Proverbs 4:5). And where do we get this wisdom? We get it from God’s Word. Just another reminder that we need to be in the Word every day, only then will we be able to stand with Jesus against the wiles of the devil.

Lord, who throughout these forty days,

For us did fast and pray,

Teach us with you to mourn our sins,

And close by you to stay.

As you did hunger bear and thirst,

So teach us, gracious Lord,

To die to self, and always live

By your most holy word. --Claudia Frances Hernaman (1873)

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