Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God—Matt. 4: 7.
Temptations continually assail the Lord's people—suggestions to do some wonderful works in His name, and thus to prove to themselves and to others that they are heaven's favorites. The lesson for us to learn is that the work which the Father has given us to do is not the work of convincing the world or of showing His favor toward us and our greatness in Him, but rather that we should quietly and humbly, yet as effectively as reason and propriety will permit, let our lights shine, and show forth the praises of Him who hath called us from darkness into His marvelous light, and from a desire to be wonder-workers to the reasonable position of servants, ministers of the Truth.
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To tempt God means to banter Him, to presume on His goodness and to tamper with His arrangements. Whoever does so takes his life in his own hands. God does not permit Himself to be mocked, though as in Pharaoh's case, He is long-suffering with the one who tempts Him. He will ultimately make the tempter feel the weight of His displeasure. Our reverence for the Lord should be so great as to prevent our tempting Him. In this, as in everything else, our dear Redeemer gives us an example of that reverential carefulness and obedience which will safeguard us against tempting Jehovah, our God. Reverence for Jehovah is also in this particular the beginning of wisdom.
Parallel passages: Deut.6: 16; Ex. 5: 2; Num. 15: 30; 1Kings 20: 28; 22: 24; Job 15: 25; Psa. 19: 13; 131: 1; Isa. 10: 15; 14: 13, 14; 45: 9; 65: 5; Matt. 4: 5, 6; Luke 18: 11, 12; Rom. 9: 20, 21; 1Cor. 10: 9-12; 2Thes. 2: 3, 4; 2Pet. 2: 10, 11.
I MAY not understand just why the clouds obscure
But I can trust Him still, and feebly say, "Thy will
I know not why each door of service He sees fit to
But I rejoice to find my will would ne'er His way
I can but wonder why it seemeth to my Father best,
To loosen from its resting place upon my throbbing
The priceless jewel fastened there by His own hand,
I joy to feel the mother-heart can still respond, Amen!
I do not always clearly see the lesson I should learn,
But hour by hour I'll strive to let the hallowed
I know not why the sweet must turn to bitter in the
But still I press it to my lips, and through my tears
To Him who is "too wise to err, too good to be
Assured that, when the cup is drained, a blessing
there I'll find.
Press hard, then, Master Workman, and refrain not,
If I weep,—
The marble's fairest beauty grows beneath the
Yea, Lord, let skies be overcast, as seemeth best to
Take from my arms the dearest thing Thy love hath
Let sweet or bitter fill my cup, according to Thy will,
I'll closer clasp Thy hand in mine and in the flame
And thus, although Thou slay me, I will praise Thee
night and day,
I'll lay each burden at Thy feet, and bear a song away!
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