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)

 

 

Isaiah 45-46

Isaiah 45-46

                These two chapters got me thinking… we know that there is no other god, besides God the Father… but verse 7 states that God creates evil and peace, lightness and darkness. But why, why would God create evil?

This is where most people who start to hate the idea of religion or God start to point fingers and say that if God loves us, why is there pain and suffering? To answer this question we have to go back to Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 5-6 during the 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness… which states:

“…thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna… man doth not live by bread only, but by ever good word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”

                “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 5)

In the Book of Mormon we read further that “…it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad…” (2 Nephi 2:11)

                Even though it sounds weird, God does love us and that is why bad things happen. We look at things as time is now… God looks at an eternal perspective which cannot be compared to our time here on earth and is ultimately for our own good.

Chapter 45: Come unto Christ

The Lord calls upon Cyrus to subdue nations. Cyrus and Israel will know the Lord, who formed the light and created darkness.

“I for the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

The skies are commanded to rain down righteousness, and the earth to bring forth salvation. Resisting the creator is foolish. God’s role as the creator of heaven and earth is emphasized alongside the deliverance of Israel via Cyrus. When the Lord is revealed as the true God, idolaters will submit and God’s people will be saved. The Lord has not concealed Himself, but let Himself be known. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth…” (Isaiah 45:22)

Chapter 46: Idols are not to be compared to God

False gods are carried away on carriages. The Lord will carry His people into old age. Golden idols are mute and incapable of offering help. The Lord knew the end from the beginning. A bird of prey shall be called from the East. Salvation will be placed in Zion, and glory in Israel.

Isaiah 37-38

Isaiah 37-38

Chapter 37: Hezekiah and Isaiah

Hezekiah tears his clothes and covers himself with sackcloth. Isaiah speaks words of assurance to Hezekiah, and tells him that Rabshakeh’s blasphemy will be repaid. The Ethiopians move against Assyria. Hezekiah prays, and Isaiah further prophesies against Assyria and gives assurances that the Lord will protect Jerusalem. The angel of the Lord strikes 185,000 Assyrian soldiers dead. Sennacherib is killed by his sons back in Assyria.

Chapter 38: Hezekiah’s Life is added to

The sick Hezekiah is given an assurance by Isaiah that he will not die, but live a further fifteen years. The shadow on a sundial goes backwards (10 degrees), as a sign to confirm the promise. Hezekiah thanks the Lord for his deliverance.

Job 32-33

Job 32-33

Chapter 32: Great Men are Not Always Wise

At the end of Job’s persuasive arguments in Job 28-30, his friends had nothing more to say. They still thought that Job was completely wrong, but they felt he was so grounded in his own opinions that it was useless to keep talking with him.

Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram (who is only mentioned briefly in the book of Job critizes Job and tells him; “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:8-9). Although this was an unjust attack on Job, Elihu brought up a good point, great men, even men of great age and experience do not always have the most wisdom. Wisdom is hard to attain, but those who have it and those who are willing to share that wisdom, should be listened to carefully!

Chapter 33: God Speak to Men in Dreams

Elihu continues to challenge Job’s defense. Elihu claims to be a spokesperson for God, while telling Job to listen to all of his words.

“…God is greater than man.” (Job 33:12) Elihu is telling Job, that he needs to be more humble, because God is truly greater than man. Even though Elihu was missing the point that Job was actually a good, humble guy… we can still learn from this. We are not on the same level as God, we need to remember that.

For a man who claims to have so much wisdom, he doesn’t walk the walk, but surely talks the talk.

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man percieveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night…” (Job 33:14-15)

Again, we can ignore the words to Job, as I am sure he also ignored them. But take away from the scriptures that God is always trying to communicate with us, so we need to listen. Elihu insists that God has indeed answered Job.

Elihu had just suggested that God spoke to Job in a dream; now he suggests that perhaps God spoke to him through his physical suffering. In the view of Elihu, if Job would only receive and respond to God’s messenger, if he would only admit to God’s uprightness, then he would be restored to God’s favor.

 

1 Samuel 19-20

1 Samuel 19-20

Chapter 19: Saul Seeks to Kill David

We learned from the last chapter that Saul has become jealous of David. Saul commands Jonathan and his servants to go off and kill David. The problem is that Jonathan likes David and ells David to hide. David goes into hiding, meanwhile Jonathan talks to his father Saul and tries to reason with him and make him understand that all David has done is serve him. Saul changes him mind and agrees to not kill him.

So, David returns to his service and there is another battle with the Philistines, where David has great success in getting rid of the Philistines. Because of this, the jealousy combined with the evil spirit in Saul comes back and while David is playing the harp to help soothe the evil spirit, Saul takes a spear and attempts to spear David to the wall. But David is able to avoid the spear and runs off. When Michal finds out, she tells David that Saul is going to come for him and that he needs to hide. So she lowers him down from the window and makes a dummy to go into David’s bed. When they finally find out that David is not “real” Saul asks Michal why she would deceive him like that. But Michal (probably to protect herself) tells Saul that she was forced to do it, because David had threatened to kill her if she didn’t.

So Saul finds out that David had gone to see Samuel in a place called Naioth. So Saul sends a group of men to go get him, but they end up prophesying. Saul sends two more groups and they also prophesy. Finally Saul goes himself and he too… is filled with the Spirit and prophesies!

Chapter 20: David and Jonathan; Covenant of Friendship

This chapter opens up with Jonathan being baffled by the fact that Saul was trying to kill David, telling David that his father would have told him about this. David tells Jonathan that his father probably didn’t tell him anything this time, because he knew that they were friends.

Jonathan asks David what he can do for him, and David comes up with a plan. It’s almost time for the New Moon Festival and David decides to not go, and asks Jonathan to make up an excuse as to why he is absent. If Saul is fine with him being absent than that will mean that everything is fine between them, but if Saul gets angry about David not being there, then he must want to kill David.
Jonathan tells David that he will go to the festival and then bring him word from his father. But David is worried about how they will meet up again to talk. So they come up with a plan, a few days after the festival they will meet in a field. Jonathan will go out to practice with his bow and when the servant goes to collect the arrows, he will use a code. If David is safe, he will tell his servant that the arrows are to the side of him, and if David is in danger, he will tell his servant that the arrows are beyond him. If he is in danger, David is supposed to run away.

So Jonathan goes to the festival and 2 days after the festival Saul asks about David’s absence. Jonathan tells him and Saul gets angry, even throwing a spear at Jonathan. So Jonathan goes out and to shoot arrows and loses control and just yells to David to “Go quickly and run!” – The servant must have been really confused.

David decides to still wait and when the servant is gone comes out to Jonathan and weeps saying goodbye!