The devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”
After Jesus overcame the temptation to question God’s care, Satan tried a second line of temptation. “He led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours’” (Luke 4:5-7). This was a temptation to question God’s wisdom. Satan was whispering in Jesus’s ear, “God plans for You to be nailed to a cross in order to be worshipped by the world. You don’t have to go through all that. Just bow down and worship me right now, and it can all be Yours. I’m offering You a kingdom without a cross. Do it my way instead. Just compromise this one time, and it can all be Yours.” Satan was tempting Jesus to question the wisdom of God.
Now, Satan overstated the case. He said he could give the kingdoms of the world to whomever he wanted to, but that’s not really true. He may give them temporarily over to somebody. And it is true that Satan right now is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). For whatever reason, God has chosen to allow Satan to have temporary control over this world. The book of Revelation says that one day the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of God again (11:15). But right now Satan is in control of Hollywood, he is in control of Wall Street, and he is in control of Washington, DC. That doesn’t negate God’s sovereignty–He can still overrule when He chooses to do so–but for right now this world is under Satan’s control. So he says to you, “Do you want a piece of the action? I’ll give it to you. All you have to do is compromise.”
Satan tempts us to question God’s wisdom when he tempts us to compromise our faith. He says, “If you really want to make it in the entertainment industry, you are going to have to loosen up a little bit. You are going to have to compromise.” To those who want success in the sports world, Satan says, “If you are going to make it in the sports world, you have to give up going to church on Sundays. Sunday mornings are when the tournaments are. That is when the scouts are watching. If you want that college scholarship, if you want to be recruited for that team, then you have to give up going to church.” He says to those who are looking for a mate, “You don’t want to be alone the rest of your life, do you? Look at this person. I know he isn’t a Christian, but he’s a lot more moral than other people. And even though God’s Word says not to be yoked together with an unbeliever, if you don’t want to be alone the rest of your life, you are going to have to compromise.”
These are all examples of the temptation to question God’s wisdom. But we should follow the example of Jesus, who said, “I am only going to worship God. I will not compromise.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When the Devil Comes Knocking” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2004.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.