Matthew 4

Matthew 4:

Jesus Tempted of the Devil

 

                Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, because of this Jesus fasted for “…forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.” (Matthew 4:2)

After he had fasted for many days, Satan came to tempt Jesus.

Satan tries to use his incredible knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures to trick Jesus. Remember just because Satan is evil, does not mean that he is dumb. In fact, I would say that second to only Jesus and God the Eternal Father, Satan’s scripture knowledge tops the charts.

Satan tries to outsmart Jesus…

“…If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

Jesus responds quickly and firmly; “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Satan then takes Jesus upon the top of the pinnacle of the temple and tells him; “…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)

Jesus responds simply; “…It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7)

Upon Satan’s last and desperate try to trick Jesus, takes Him upon the top of an exceedingly high mountain top and shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and tells Him; “…All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9)

Jesus at this point has had enough and tells Satan; “…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)

Even the most spiritually grounded individuals; the ones that wear the armor of God can be weakened and beaten down. Jesus, after having fasted for 40 days and nights was at one of the weakest moments in his earthly life. He let Satan tempt him 3 times, each time resisting his demands. By doing so, Jesus was able to feel the pressure of evil temptation from the devil himself! These temptations allowed Jesus to enter into our own shoes, so that he would know what we would go through during our lives. Jesus suffered the greatest temptations, and yet overcame them for our benefit.

In the end, Satan was spewing lies. Could he have offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world? No, because they were never his to give. Jesus knew this and garnered enough strength to fight the adversary and become triumphant. We too can overcome Satan’s temptations and become triumphant! After Jesus casts Satan out of his presence, angels came to administer to Jesus. If we focus on ridding the devil from our own lives and overcome the temptations of the world, we too can feel the presence of administering angels.

With full strength and victory over evil, Jesus departs into Galilee to follow word that John the Baptist has been imprisoned. From that time forward; “…Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee and calls the fisherman; “…Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) These men, being called to serve “…straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20). In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no waiting, there is no hesitation. When you are called to serve, to preach the word of God you GO and you DO.

Jesus began his ministry and “…went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4:23)

 

 

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1 Chronicles 27-29

1 Chronicles 27-29

Chapter 27: Officers who served the King

David’s army was divided into units of twelve, with one group of the twelve on alert each month of the year. By doing this, they found an effective way of always keeping the troops ready and the inactive troops regularly trained.

Over the first first month was; Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were 24,000.The children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.

Over the second month was; Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course were 24,000.

Over the third month was; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course was 24,000. Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.

Over the fourth month was; Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the fifth month was; Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the sixth month was; Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

Over the seventh month was; Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the eighth month was; Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

Over the ninth month was; Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the tenth month was; Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the eleventh month was; Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course was 24,000.

Over the twelfth month was; Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course was 24,000.

Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah: Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok: Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael: Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel: Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah: Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner: Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.

And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah: And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub: And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite. And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash; And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys wasShaphat the son of Adlai: Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite: And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s.

Chapter 28: Solomon to Build the Temple

David assembled all of the princes of Israel and the princes of the tribes and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by their month.

David stands and says; “… Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and  had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war and hast shed blood.” (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). But he continues on to say that he was chosen to be the father of the one chose to build that house. This is Solomon. Solomon will build the house of the Lord. David says to Solomon; “…Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

David further counsels Solomon to take heed and build the sanctuary for the Lord. He says; “…be strong, and do it.” (1 Chronicles 28:10)

David continues to give Solomon the blue prints for the construction and gives him all the resources that he will need in preparing and going forth with the construction.

He continues to speak with Solomon; “…Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Chapter 29: Solomon Reigns as King

Everyone in Israel makes generous offerings of Gold, Silver, Iron, Time, etc. to the construction of the house of the Lord. David blesses and praises the Lord and instructs the people. David dies and Solomon reigns as the king. In verse 29 the chapter mentions the books of both “Samuel” and “Gad” which we no longer have today. This is another example of why the Bible is not complete.

Joshua 23-24

Joshua 23-24

Chapter 23: Keep the Commandments and Love God

Joshua speaks to Israel and encourages them to be courageous in keeping the commandments of God. He advises that the Israelites keep the commandments and LOVE God. He commands them not marry the remnants of the Canaanites, for if they do they will be brought down and destroyed for the evil that they have committed. If Israel serves other gods they will be cursed and destroyed.

We must follow the laws of Moses: Verse 6. But do we have to follow them today? I would say no. But can we learn a lot from the laws? Yes. Many things like eating of pork and other animals are not an issue today. But the general laws of doing good in the sight of God is something we must hold to.

Chapter 24: Serve the Lord God

Joshua gathers Israel and recalls how the Lord has blessed and led Israel throughout the years. Joshua and all the people make a covenant to choose serve the Lord only and no other gods. Joshua and Eleazer die. Joshua dies at the age of 110 (verse 29). The bones of Joseph are taken from Egypt and buried in Shechem.

I am including the actual text from chapter 24, only because I think it serves as a great summary of what the Lord has done for Israel since the beginning. Verses 1-13;

                “And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.” (Joshua 24:1-13)

                Joshua asks the Israelites “…choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). Joshua warns that if “…ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, they he will turn and do you hurt… after that he hath done you good” (Joshua 24:20). I find this to be very true, if we chose to disobey God’s commandments and serve other gods (which can be putting material things before him) then we will be hurt. We can take a look at the world today and see that people are suffering everywhere… why? Because they are not following the commandments of God. Don’t have sexual relations outside of marriage… and then when people do that and get diseases and have unwanted pregnancies they look to God and say “there is no God” or that “How could God cause such horrible things to happen?”

You want to know the answer? He doesn’t cause bad things to happen, he always warns us, but if we don’t listen… WE ARE THE ONES LETTING BAD THINGS HAPPEN!! God hates to see us suffer, but like in the end of the verse “…he hath done you good.” (Joshua 24:20). Why has he done you good, by hurting you? Because you have to learn. Just like a parent telling their child to not touch the stove, but after the constant pursuit to touch the stove, the parent gives up and lets the child do what they want. The result? A crying child. God sees us the same way. Honestly we are all a bunch of crying babies in his eyes, and if we want something bad enough, eventually he won’t intervene, in fact he gave us agency to choose for ourselves. Remember Adam and Eve? He let Adam make his own decision. We too can make our own decision, as long as we are prepared to face the consequences of our decisions.