The Word of God provides for our deliverance from ha-satan’s attacks. Today, we look at how our Savior used Scripture during the wilderness temptation in Luke 4 to cause the enemy to flee!
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The enemy’s limited tactics: he waits for us to be weak
Have you ever noticed that the enemy of our souls preys upon us in our weak moments?
David certainly knew it:
“For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in darkness,
Like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.” Psalm 143:3-4, NKJV
When we are at our best, fully confident of our place as children of the Most High God because of what our Savior and Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) has done for us and we are walking in the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) – it is much more difficult for ha-satan (satan) to attack. When we are physically healthy and strong, it is also more difficult for the enemy to attack because our alertness is at a peak – we are prayed-up and fighting off those enemy darts!
So why does the devil have difficulty attacking?
The devil is limited!
Unlike ADONAI Tzva’ot (the LORD of Hosts),
the devil is
Like any mediocre warrior, the devil waits for you to feel weak, and then he strikes.
Trials, tests, and temptation: augmented when hungry!
It was no different when our Savior walked the earth.
Yeshua (Jesus) was led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) into the desert wilderness for forty days.
Notice that Luke, a trained physician, mentions the physical hunger that Yeshua (Jesus) was experiencing:
Our LORD Yeshua (Jesus), fully-God, fully-man was experiencing true physical hunger.
How do you feel when you are hungry?
It often depends on the day or the circumstances, but I observe that hunger can cause all sorts of issues:
inability to think clearly without distraction
Symptoms of hunger can make a person susceptible to giving into temptation.
Have you ever promised you would fast, and the first thing that happens when you begin is someone offers you the most decadent dessert or invites you out to eat?
Or maybe something less spiritual.
Maybe you simply want to keep a diet.
You commit to eating your salad greens and limiting your consumption of deep-fried deliciousness, but as soon as you get out of your car when you are heading to work or school you smell the most wonderful scent of fried chicken or some other fast food you love.
The devil knows this. As soon as Yeshua (Jesus) had completed his forty day fast in the wilderness, hasatan jumped at the opportunity to tempt Ben-Elohim, the Son of God.
How our LORD responded to temptation using D’varim
Our LORD Yeshua (Jesus) responded using His knowledge of Torah (Pentateuch) and more precisely, the book of “D’varim,” which translates as the book of “Words.” (We know it as “Deuteronomy”):
The LORD Yeshua (Jesus) quoted the Words:
“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” D’varim/Deuteronomy 8:3, emphasis added
“Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Luke 4:5-7
How did our Wise and Holy Savior Yeshua (Jesus) respond? Again with a passage from Torah, specifically Deuteronomy:
But notice here: before quoting Scripture this time, our Messiah addressed the devil directly, ordering him to “Get thee behind.”
This is important for us today because the devil continues to be a bother.
The devil’s attacks are vicious and he looks for whom he may devour:
It is critical to put on the armor of God!
Keep it shined up and ready for battle, not rusting away in a closet somewhere!
Deliverance is dependent upon confessing trust in the Liberator – the God of Israel and His Son Yeshua (Jesus) – and upon knowing the Word and how to use it! Remember, the LORD is your defense and He has provided His Incarnate Word to lead us to victory.
Another point of note: during the second temptation, hasatan adds pressure to his demand by citing his own (limited) authority. This tactic is further augmented in the third temptation as we will see.
If you noticed that the devil cited his own authority in the second temptation, notice that in the third temptation he goes so far as to cite the LORD’s own authority by using Scripture, specifically Psalm 91:
The devil is desperate!
Surely, the devil doesn’t appreciate Scripture because he knows his future is sealed.
Yet hasatan (satan) will do absolutely anything and everything just for the chance to make a person fall into sin and destruction, and ultimately death.
The LORD again cites D’varim. Deuteronomy 6:16:
You shall not tempt the LORD your God.
Yeshua (Jesus) is reaffirming that the LORD is God and that even the devil must acknowledge that Truth.
The devil was left speechless
Do you notice that after each Scriptural response, the devil had no comeback?
That ugly serpent couldn’t come up with a suitable counterargument.
So he left. Only for the time being, but the point is – the devil had to flee because he is put to shame by the power of the Word of God.
So be sure to study the Word for yourself!
Here is a wonderful song that can help you memorize Psalm 62:
When the devil wants to come against you, stand firm on the Truth of Scripture and he will have to leave you alone.
Let us look to our Almighty Savior for the best example of what to do when the devil wants to confuse us or twist Scripture for his own benefit. Know the Word for yourself and stand firm in your faith!