When the Enemy Rings the Doorbell
Verse 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone;
Yesterday we discussed the need to persevere through the trials that will come in our lives. James said that when we had stood the test of that trial, we would receive the reward that God has promised for those who love Him. But what is the difference between the tests and temptations that come?
Temptations come to each of us. They are part of being human. In fact they happened even before the fall in the Garden of Eden. But how we handle temptation reveals a lot about us. Before sin entered the world, Eve was faced with the realities of temptation. The enemy shows up at just the right moment to tempt Eve to do the very thing she knew she shouldn’t do, eat from the forbidden tree.
Notice in our verse today that it says that God never tempts us to do evil. God had placed the tree in the Garden. God had created the fruit that was on it. He had made many trees and their fruit. All perfect in the appearance and delectable in their taste. But He hadn’t given free access to all of them for the enjoyment of the humans. That tree was His perfect creation but it wasn’t for their use.
The tree had been there from the beginning. Eve had likely walked past it often and never paid it any heed. It may have been a test of obedience to have it there, but God was not tempting them with it. Adam and Eve knew God to be good so there was no reason to question Him on why they couldn't eat from that tree. They trusted Him because they knew His character.
Testing wasn't the problem, temptation changed the relationship though. The enemy knew how to cause division between God and man. All that was needed was for them to doubt God and His goodness.
Doubt of God’s goodness is still the tool the enemy uses to tempt us. When we least expect it he will bring something to our attention and use it to persuade us to question how God takes care of us or His way of doing things. He may even use something that we have never seemed to notice but that has been in front of us all along. The enemy is the great tempter.
Making It Personal
What types of things tempt you? What do you do when tempted? How does temptation make you doubt God and His goodness?
Making It Personal Kids
What is temptation? Why is temptation dangerous? What do you do when you are tempted?
Father, thank You for not tempting us. Please give us the strength and courage to believe truth about You. Help us not doubt You. In Jesus’ name, amen.