What Can We Learn From Satan Tempts Jesus?
Whenever I read about how Satan tempted thein the Scripture, I would ponder: Why did Satan tempt the Lord Jesus? Especially the following passage of Scripture made me confused, “Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him” (Mat 4:8-11). I wondered: Satan is clearly aware that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God and that God has dominion over all, but why did it still ask the Lord Jesus to worship it? What on earth was Satan’s purpose? And what sort of practical meaning does the phrase “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” the Lord Jesus said have?
Before long, I read a book, which reveals the truth of this aspect. The book says, “The devil Satan, having failed at its previous two ploys, tried yet another: It showed all the kingdoms in the world and their glory to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to worship it. What can you see about the true features of the devil from this situation? Is the devil Satan not absolutely shameless? (Yes.) How is it shameless? All things were created by God, and yet Satan turned around and showed all things to God, saying, ‘Look at the wealth and glory of all of these kingdoms. If You worship me I’ll give them all to You.’ Is this not a complete role reversal? Is Satan not shameless? God made all things, but did He make all things for His own enjoyment? God gave everything to mankind, but Satan wanted to seize it all and having seized it all, it told God, ‘Worship me! Worship me and I’ll give this all to You.’ This is the ugly face of Satan; it is absolutely shameless! Satan does not even know the meaning of the word ‘shame.’ This is just another example of its evil. It does not even know what shame is. Satan clearly knows that God created all things and that He manages and has dominion over all things. All things belong not to man, and much less to Satan, but to God, and yet the devil Satan brazenly said that it would give all things to God. Is this not another example of Satan once again acting absurdly and shamelessly? This causes God to hate Satan even more, does it not? Yet no matter what Satan tried, was the Lord Jesus fooled? What did the Lord Jesus say? (‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’) Do these words have a practical meaning? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? We see Satan’s evil and shamelessness in its speech. So if man worshiped Satan, what would be the outcome? Would they obtain the wealth and glory of all of the kingdoms? (No.) What would they obtain? Would mankind become just as shameless and laughable as Satan? (Yes.) They would be no different from Satan then. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said these words, which are important for each and every human being: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’ This means that except for the Lord, except for God Himself, if you served another, if you worshiped the devil Satan, then you would wallow in the same filth as Satan. You would then share Satan’s shamelessness and its evil, and just like Satan you would tempt God and attack God. Then what would the outcome be for you? You would be loathed by God, struck down by God, destroyed by God. … From everything Satan has said and done, have you seen its arrogance? Have you seen its deceit and malice? How is Satan’s arrogance primarily displayed? Does Satan always harbor the desire to occupy God’s position? Satan always wants to tear down God’s work, and God’s position and take it for itself so that people will follow, support, and worship Satan; this is the arrogant nature of Satan. When Satan corrupts people, does it directly tell them what they should do? When Satan tempts God, does it come out and say, ‘I am tempting You, I am going to attack You’? It absolutely does not. So what method does Satan use? It seduces, tempts, attacks, and sets traps, and even quotes from the Scriptures. Satan speaks and acts in various ways to achieve its sinister objectives and fulfill its intentions. After Satan has done this, what can be seen from what is manifested in man? Do people not also become arrogant? Man has suffered from Satan’s corruption for thousands of years and so man has become arrogant, deceitful, malicious, and beyond reason. All of these things are brought about due to Satan’s nature. Since Satan’s nature is evil, it has given man this evil nature and brought to man this evil, corrupt disposition. Therefore, man lives under the corrupt satanic disposition and, like Satan, resists God, attacks God, and tempts Him, such that man cannot worship God and does not have a heart that reveres Him” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). From the disclosure of these words, I saw Satan’s evil, despicableness and treacherousness. Satan used the wealth and glory of all the kingdoms to tempt the Lord Jesus, and by this means asked the Lord to worship it. Satan clearly knows that everything was created by God, not man, and not managed by itself; nevertheless, Satan still took all things God bestowed upon man as its private property and even used them to tempt the Lord. How shameless Satan is! From the sinister motive in Satan’s speech, it can be seen that Satan attempts to replace God’s identity and position in order to achieve its wild ambition and purpose of controlling the world and mankind, which totally exposes its reactionary substance of extreme arrogance, evil, slyness and craftiness.
However, facing Satan’s temptation, the Lord Jesus only said a word “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” so that Satan was humiliated and slipped away. At the same time, the word allows man to understand: Only God is the Lord of all things, is supreme and should be worshiped; only by living according tocan we not be corrupted and harmed by Satan and can we be blessed by God. Contrarily, if we follow Satan, pursuing the wealth and glory of the world and living in satanic dispositions, then we, like Satan, will also oppose God, tempt God, attack God and ultimately suffer God’s punishment and curse. The phrase said by the Lord Jesus shows us human beings the way of practice, and makes us understand God’s will, see the right path that we should pursue and know how to live a life that is valuable. What’s more, the word allows us to penetrate satanic schemes, realizing that we should not live for our own interests or pursue fame and fortune or covet the worldly glory; but instead, we should absolutely live our life to satisfy God and walk the path of salvation of fearing God and shunning evil. Besides, from the dialogue between God and Satan, it is seen that God’s words are transparent, direct and straightforward because God’s substance is holy, while Satan’s words, with temptation, seduction and attack, appear dignified and great on the surface, but are insidious and malicious in substance.
This reminded me of Job, who worshiped God and walked the evil-shunning road all his lifetime, and was the greatest of all the men of the east. In his old age, Satan’s temptations and attacks befell him. His great fortune was taken away by robbers, his sons and daughters met with calamity and his body was covered in sore boils, which made him feel in agony. Nonetheless, Job at that moment didn’t forsake God because of losing all property and children. No matter what plots Satan carried out to tempt him, Job, with a God-fearing heart, all the time stood on the side of God, didn’t complain about God, kept loyal to God from beginning to end, and submitted to God’s sovereignty and arrangements through faith, thereby standing witness for God. And then Satan was shamed and defeated, fleeing in panic from before God. From then on Satan didn’t dare to tempt Job any longer. Job gained greater blessings from God: It was not merely that he was given twice as much property as he had before and that his life expectancy was doubled; most importantly, he heard God’s personal utterance to him and saw God’s back; he had a deeper knowledge of God, better understood God’s will and had a closer relationship with God, and he gained God’s approval.
Then I read another passage in the book, “If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God. This is to say, those who have been saved unto God are those who have undergone God’s trials, and who have been tempted and attacked by Satan an untold number of times. Those who have been saved unto God understand God’s will and requirements, and are able to acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and they do not forsake the way of fearing God and shunning evil amid Satan’s temptations. Those who are saved unto God possess honesty, they are kindhearted, they differentiate between love and hate, they have a sense of justice and are rational, and they are able to care for God and treasure all that is of God. Such people are not bound, spied upon, accused, or abused by Satan; they are completely free, they have been completely liberated and released. Job was just such a man of freedom, and this is precisely the significance of why God had handed him over to Satan” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). From these words I understood God’s will and came to know that God uses Satan to do service for His work of perfecting man and thus we human beings must experience all kinds of Satan’s temptations. Amid Satan’s temptations and attacks, only by relying on God like Job and by living based on ourcan we see through Satan’s plots, overcome Satan’s forces and break free from the domain of Satan. Let’s think about it: When the Lord Jesus personally worked on earth to save man, Satan didn’t let Him go and tempted Him; today, if we want to be completely gained by God, Satan will not easily let us go either. Therefore, we will certainly undergo different temptations both great and small from Satan.
Thanks to God’s guidance, I have gained true knowledge of Satan’s evil motive. It turns out that Satan tempts us in order to tear down and disturb God’s work because it wants to reign over all on the earth, wants us humans to betray God, worship it and become the objects it can enslave, fool and devour at will. However, God’s work is based on Satan’s schemes. Using Satan’s schemes to do service, God makes perfect our faith in and love of Him, which better manifests God’s wisdom and almightiness. At the same time, I have gained a deeper knowledge of the practical meaning and value of the phrase “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” the Lord Jesus said. It is clear that the phrase carries a lot of weight, which is to say, whatever temptations from Satan come to us, God wants us, like Job, to rely on Him, not to lose faith in Him but to tread the path of fearing God and shunning evil. Only this way can we bear witness for God and be protected by God.