And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. ... And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:1, 12-13)
Testing. Nobody likes it. It's uncomfortable. It offers the possibility that you could fail. And the consequences—well, let's not think about those!
But we all know that testing comes along early in practically every important thing we do. Moses faced it the first time he went to tell Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go free. How nervous he must have been! Imagine having to go tell a hostile king that you've been hearing voices (well, one voice), and you have a message from God that the king isn't going to want to hear. Not fun. Dangerous, even. How do you keep your courage up in those circumstances?
Moses leaned pretty heavily on the Word of God that he had heard during the episode of the burning bush. He didn't try to come up with smart ideas on his own—just stuck to God's Word and passed it along. And we can see God's own Son Jesus doing the exact same thing in His own testing, during the 40 days He spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil.
Think about that for a moment. Here is God Himself in the flesh being tempted by evil—and whenever He answers a temptation, He says only, "It is written ..." (or as we would say, "The Bible says ..."). As God, surely Jesus could have just made something up. He had the wisdom. But He didn't do that. He leaned on God's Word, the Scripture, and used that as His sole defense—just as Moses did. Why?
I think Jesus did it for us. Because what wisdom or understanding do we have besides what God gives us in the Bible? When we are tested, there is no better place for us to find help and hope. Because that is where we find Jesus—and the Holy Spirit plants faith and hope in our hearts.
THE PRAYER: Lord Holy Spirit, help me to understand and trust Your Word, the Bible—please teach me to hear Your voice. Amen.
* What part of the Bible do you know the best? The least?
* What part does the Bible play in your daily life?
* Who or what could help you grow in your appreciation of the Bible?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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