Scriptures

Does God Tempt Anyone? Part 2

Introduction

‘Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.’ James 1:16-18

‘Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His steadfast love endures forever’. Psalm 136:1-2. A journey from Genesis through revelation reveals that our God is forever good.

Again, James persuades us not to be deceived, but that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, James 1:16-17.

He emphasizes the goodness of God by reminding us in verse 18 that ‘of his own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures’.

What a good God we serve! Let’s think about it: if every good and every perfect gift comes from God, can it also be true that temptations come from Him? Certainly not! Temptations do not come under good and perfect gifts! Again, James proves to us that God is not the source of temptations.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life which John tells us are not from the Father but from the world could be seen at play in the garden of Eden culminating in the fall of man: ‘……When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it…’ Genesis 3:6.

Without any shadow of doubt, an individual yields to temptations when he / she rationalises an evil as being good for the flesh / health / food / drink (lust of the flesh), good for the eyes or pleasing to behold (the lust of the eyes) or desirable for success / earthly wisdom / self-actualisation (pride of life).

‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring1  and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’ To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’ To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’ Genesis 3:1-19

Prayer

Dear Father of lights, we know that in You there is no darkness. May we allow your goodness to permeate our entire being so that our lives will be filled with your grace and mercy through our Lord Jesus.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.’"

Acts 18:9

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