Luke 4:12

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 4:12 

“And Jesus answered and said to him, it is said, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.” – Luke 4:12  

Now we move on to the final temptation Satan inflicted upon Jesus.  After Jesus told Satan “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve”, Satan led Jesus to Jerusalem. “And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, HE WILL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU, and, ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, LEST YOU STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.” Luke 4:9-11.  Satan starts this temptation as he did the first of the three here in Luke with, “If you are the Son of God”. He was again trying to get Jesus to fall for this idea of showing who He actually was.  However, it is a bit different from the other two because in this one, Satan quotes scripture to Jesus.  “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:11-12. 

Theologian Robert H. Stein says this about Satan using these verses.  “Even the devil can quote Scripture, and here he sought to support his challenge to Jesus from the Scripture itself. Defeated by Jesus’ use of the Word of God in the previous two temptations, the devil sought to use the Scriptures for his own purposes. There is no evidence that which the devil quoted was interpreted messianically in Judaism; but if the psalm states a truth concerning any believer, how much more is this true of the Messiah. Yet knowing Scripture is not enough; one must interpret it correctly.”

Now Jesus’ response is strong with this reference of Himself as The Lord your God. “And Jesus answered and said to him, It is said, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.” Luke 4:12.  Jesus here is quoting from Deuteronomy, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:16. And what happened in Massah? 

“Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?” Exodus 17:1-2. They were thirsty, and they wondered why no water was provided to them.  In fact, in verse 7 we read, “And he named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?” Exodus 17:7.  Jesus uses the example of when Israel was camping at Rephidim and was thirsty for there was no water to drink.  So, they tested the Lord by asking if He was with them or not.  The test was that if He was there among them, why is He not providing for their needs.  And because they put God to the test, the name of this place became Massah, meaning ‘temptation’ because it was there Israel tempted God.

I have heard people do this on many occasions, saying ‘If God truly loves me He will do this”, or “If He exists He will keep me from all trials”.  He never promised we would not have trials, but He did promise great things if we persevere. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12. Therefore, I call on everyone reading this not to test Him, but to trust Him.  He said He would always be with us who are believers. “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. And He always keeps His promises.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.