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Matthew 4:1-11

Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is guest blogger Scot M.

Who’s your worst enemy (besides yourself, of course), and how would you like to be armed when you face him (Satan, or his demons) in battle?

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is reenacting Israel’s wilderness wanderings (40 years for them, filled with rebellion against God; 40 days for Him, filled with faithful obedience), so He repulses each of Satan’s temptations with verses which Israel knew, but didn’t obey (from Deuteronomy 6 and 8).

To each temptation, Jesus responds, “It is written,” followed by Scripture. For Jesus, those words, “It is written,” are His bedrock assurance of God’s authority, truthfulness, and direction. There is no higher authority than God’s own words, properly understood and properly applied to life.

Yet Satan also says, “It is written,” as he tempts Jesus with Psalm 91:11-12, where God promises to protect those who trust Him (but not those who put Him to the test for their own purposes!). James 4:3 says we sometimes do not receive what we pray for because we ask with wrong motives, that we may squander God’s gifts for our own pleasure. We must be careful how we claim God’s promises as we pray.

Ephesians 6:10-18 describes the armor God gives us to withstand Satan’s assaults. Our only piece able to repel is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). In Paul’s language, “word” here means God’s words we speak aloud. We have a sword. Let’s keep sharpening it.

Jeremiah Vaught