“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The Lord’s Prayer was spoken and taught by Jesus as part of His Sermon on the Mount which goes from chapters 5 through 7 in the Book of Matthew.
Today we’ll focus on verse 13: “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The Lord doesn’t “lead us” into temptation, but He does allow it in our lives to test us, to strengthen us, and to teach us. We have a wonderful example in the lives of Job and of Jesus in how to handle temptation.
Let’s start with a look at Job’s situation in Job 1:1, 7-22.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
The temptation of Job was an attempt by Satan to get Job to curse God. He wanted to get Job so fired up, angry and traumatized that he would give up on God.
Pastor Chuck Smith says: “The real test of the value of my Christian experience comes in adversity. How do I react to tragic losses? Anybody can smile on a sunny day. In Job, we find a man who was suddenly stripped of everything.”
Job knew that he was lost without The Lord, that He was nothing compared to God, that God is on the throne and in control even when it seemed the entire world was against him. “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” is an incredible statement. Virtually everything had gone wrong in Job’s life, his life was a wreck. All of his livestock and servants were killed (his entire estate or all of his wealth was gone), and then all of his children were killed.
Later in Job we read: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:25, 26)
Job knew that His Redeemer (Jesus) was coming someday. God is still on the throne. Even in all of the troubles of this life, God is still in complete control, he knows what we’re going through, and we need to still praise and worship Him. He did send that Redeemer in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to this earth as God wrapped in human flesh. He was tempted just like we are, He knew His role was to be sacrificed and killed on the cross, and yet He never cursed God.
Let’s look now at Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness in Matt 4:1-11:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Jesus is God, yet became a human man so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for us. He suffered all of the same temptations that we suffer.
Notice that Jesus defends Himself with Scripture. This is an example to us of how we can defend against temptation. Jesus shows us that reading and memorizing the Word of God becomes for us a defending wall against the attacker. In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul gives us the entire arsenal of God that we can use in the battle of this evil world, it’s called the “Armor of God”.
Check out Eph 6:10-18
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
These three temptations of Jesus encompass virtually every temptation we have as earthly people and all three are included in this one verse.
These three ways of tempting us are highlighted in 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
The first temptation was the lust of the flesh, and in this case Jesus was tempted in the flesh by being starved with hunger: “when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry”. His body (flesh) needed food!! The desires and urges of our body is one of the three basic ways we are tempted.
His response is with Scripture, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then Jesus was tempted by what He saw (the lust of the eyes): “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me”. Satan was saying Look! See all that I can give you! We are tempted by what we see! That new stereo, video game, money, clothing, whatever. I really need a new truck, that would be something I could be tempted by!
Notice Jesus again uses the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and responds to Satan with: “it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
The last temptation was pride, something that we’re all too familiar with. Satan challenges His pride by suggesting He is not really the Son fo God: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus responds again with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
In Luke 22:31,32 Jesus is speaking with Peter (Simon), and Jesus knows that Peter will be tempted by Satan to sin and turn away from God. Peter will go through some terrible persecution. Jesus encourages Peter to stand strong and be a strength to his brothers:
“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ ”
We know people that have gone through terrible times: home foreclosure, family members on drugs, family members in jail, parent(s) unemployed, divorce, death in the family, and on and on. Jesus prays for us to! God is in control. He is on the throne. Don’t despair and be tempted to leave the faith! Stay strong!
One of my favorite passages in the Bible can be found in Joshua 1:9 (and similar verses are found in Deuteronomy) when Joshua was going up against a mighty army: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Remember Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer: “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”