Understanding temptation

Temptation is mentioned in the bible and has three important meanings and applications.

Satan tempts: Satan tempts people by hooking to their lusts or desires to perform evil deeds – an enticement to evil. (I Corinthians 7:5; James 1:13-14) This is the challenge to choose between fidelity and infidelity, righteousness, or unrighteousness; truth and false. Satan used the wife of Potiphar to tempt Joseph to commit adultery. Joseph was alert, he did not allow his desires of flesh or eyes to overcome him, but he overcame sin. (Genesis 39) In contrast, Satan used Bathsheba to tempt David. As he was not alert, he was overcome by the pride of life; that he as king deserves multiple wives, and fell into the sin of adultery. (II Samuel 11) Achan’s greed was exposed and he stole things that were devoted to the Lord. (Joshua 7:21)

Humans test God: The people of God could put God to the test. (Acts 5:9; I Corinthians 10:9) Peter told Ananias and Sapphira that they together decided to test God. Lord Jesus told Satan: Do not put your Lord God to the test. (Deuteronomy 6:16; Luke 4:12) Satan wanted Lord Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple and angels will carry him before he could hit the ground, quoting from Psalms. (Psalms 91:11-12) It violates the principle of faith. God’s promises cannot be applied without God’s purpose and will in all situations. That cannot be termed as faith, only as presumption. God can test humans; they cannot test God. The children of Israel sinned as they tested the Lord ten times and they were punished. (Numbers 14:20-23) The whole generation could not possess the Promised Land.

God tests saints: God tests his people, but not with the enticement to evil. Abraham was commanded to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and when he was about to offer, Lord prevented him. A ram was offered as a sacrifice. (Hebrews 11:17) God helped Gideon to choose men to go to war by testing them beside the waters. (Judge 7:6,7)

Do I resist the devil, and be submissive to do His Will?