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Excerpt from sermon notes of #763

Not only the timing-but the place of this temptation is significant-Satan's temptations are the most powerful when we must grapple with him all alone-as it was with Eve in the Garden of Eden.

MAT 4:1 says, "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."

The Spirit led our Saviour into the wilderness to be tempted where He was all alone-that He might learn the power of temptation in our human nature. Knowing the power of temptation our Heavenly High Priest can so intimately relate to the spiritual warfare we have with Satan. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," HEB 4:15.

Seeing we have such a High Priest to present our case before the Father as our Intercessor, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," HEB 4:16.

Many things can be learned from the temptations of our blessed Saviour! One of the most important lessons is to understand why Satan wanted Him in the wilderness where He was alone. Being alone where we are not under the observation of others can be very dangerous, as we can see with Joseph.

GEN 39:11-12 we read the history of how Joseph "...went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within." This was where his master's wife "...caught him by his garment, saying, lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out." Because they were alone in the house his master believed the lie of his wife, and Joseph was put into prison.

Idol time is dangerous, even in our own house! There is no place where we are excluded from temptation. See where King David was when he fell into temptation. 2SA 11:2 says, "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon."

Oh beloved, what a terrible fall David had when tempted from the roof of his own house! Instead of being out with the armies of Israel, Satan caught him alone. He not only took another man's wife, but he proceeded unto murder in an attempt to cover his own sin.

The history of Lot is another case where being alone proved the power of Satan. He was able to remain chaste in the midst of Sodom, but when alone in the mountains with only his own family-see what sin he fell into.

GEN 19:30-33 tells us the sad story of how "Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters." It was there in that place of isolation that both his daughters seduced him into incest, to preserve seed of their father.

We cannot shut Satan out by merely shutting ourselves up in solitude. There is safety in the fellowship of the saints. This is why God's Word tells us "...let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching," HEB 10:24-25.

See all the forces that Satan used against our blessed Saviour! "...he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him," MAR 1:13. Therefore He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities-He was tempted in all points even as we are, "yet with out sin," HEB 4:15.

The mere fact that Jesus was able to withstand all the forces of Satan alone in the wilderness-is a great consolation for us. HEB 7:24-25, says "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Amen.

Christian, seek not yet repose,
Cast thy dreams of ease away;
Thou art in the midst of foes:
Watch and pray.

Principalities and powers,
Mustering their unseen array,
Wait for thine unguarded hours:
Watch and pray.

Gird thy heavenly armor on,
Wear it ever, night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one:
Watch and pray.

Hear the victors who o'ercame;
Still they mark each warrior's way;
All with one sweet voice exclaim,
"Watch and pray."

Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,
Him thou lovest to obey;
Hide within they heart his word,
"Watch and pray."

Watch, as if on that alone
Hung the issues of the day;
Pray, that may be sent down:
Watch and pray.

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Gospel Chapel Ministries by Ralph Bouma
601 8th Ave SW
Conrad MT 59425


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