Matthew 4:7 “It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
These are the next written words spoken by Jesus in the book of Matthew, but what exactly does He mean by tempt? Let’s take a look.
The devil takes Jesus to a high point and tells him to jump, that angels will not allow him to be hurt. In other words the devil is saying jump and make God prove the truth in His words. Jesus reply was simple enough and again He uses the opportunity to speak to us. “It is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.” But where is this written and what exactly is Jesus telling us here?
It is written in Deuteronomy 6:16. It’s a message from God to His people through Moses and it is referring back to Exodus chapter 17. This is the story of the people chiding Moses because they are thirsty and are doubting that God is with them. Even after everything God has done to get the out of Egypt. It’s as if they throw it all in His face.
The people of Israel are testing or “tempting” God to prove His existence.
Read the story and tell me what you would have done if you were in God’s shoes? I can comfortably say that half of us would have turned our backs on Israel at this point. How many times do you need to prove yourself to someone before you grow tired of their ungratefulness and doubt? God’s love is infinite and if you ever doubt that, read the Old Testament and Israels walk with Him. His patience shines.
So what does this have to do with us? With modern times? Let me put it bluntly so it sinks in and then I will explain. God doesn’t have to prove His existence to you. This is a hard lesson for us to grasp because we like proof, just as I spoke about yesterday. But God wants us to have faith, and here’s the deal you really won’t like. God owes you nothing. He owes us nothing. We are not entitled to anything, no matter what we’ve been through. God sacrificed His son, Jesus. Jesus died a horribly painful death and not only that, this is a part a lot of people don’t seem to get, it wasn’t just the physical pain he suffered. He suffered emotional pain and trauma. He took on the sins of the world; all that was committed before Him, since the beginning of time and all that were to be committed after Him until the end of time.
As I’ve stated before, sin has its own consequences without hell. Jesus took on all of those consequences. What do I mean? Think of every time you have been hurt throughout your life, we are talking emotional pain right now. Think of every time you felt depressed, every time you felt guilt, every time you felt angry, disappointed, jealous, frustrated, scared, isolated, and hopeless. Now multiply that by every single person that has ever and will ever be alive on this earth. That is the emotional trauma that Jesus went through on the cross. So tell me again why God owes you or anyone, anything?
God owes us nothing. He is The God of the universe. In the blink of an eye He could destroy it just as easily as He created it.
We are a cruel creation. We hate, we destroy, we are selfish and we deny our creator over and over again. We go to great lengths to prove He doesn’t exist, and yet God is giving us time for redemption. He’s giving us time to correct ourselves before judgment day.
Once we realize this truth we can see God’s love and how much deeper it is than our own. We, as humans can rarely come close to this type of love.
So you see God has every right to say, don’t test me. I have given you everything and I owe you nothing. Yet I still love you.