Temptation can come in famine or fullness. Adam and Eve lived in paradise yet succumbed to the offering of a single off-limits fruit tree. That said, I suspect most of us relate, in a general way, to the temptations Jesus faces in the wilderness whilst he is hungry, tired, and alone. Is this not why we all understand the common wisdom of watching what we put before our eyes when alone, minding what we discuss with our spouses when we are tired, and never grocery shopping when hungry! Yet, try as we may to wisely avoid temptations, they will come. How do we arm ourselves to withstand such tests? It is enormously difficult to say no continually to temptation when the temptation is considered in isolation. As we considered yesterday, we are often tempted by things that are good in themselves, but wrong for us. For instance, adultery is wrong not because sex is bad, but because sex outside of God’s loving provision for you is. I find it difficult to say no to temptation unless I consider something clearly better as an option. To find something so real, so attractive, and so steadfast, that I can easily summon the will to say yes to the good and no to the bad.
Something to Apply:
In the wilderness Jesus was offered bread for stones, protection from a foolish stunt, and the wealth and power of all the earth’s kingdoms. While he was hungry, tired, and alone I am sure the offerings in themselves held great alure. In each case he drew strength from him who is the pinnacle of truth, beauty, and faithfulness. The one who commands and deserves our worship. As he turned to God’s Word Jesus confirmed to us that God’s Word is greater than our next meal, God’s goodness can be trusted more than earthly security, and God’s worship is to be treasured above all wealth!