Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto 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. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4.5-7
Satan continued to tempt Jesus; this time he wanted Jesus to prove that He was the Son of God. Presumptuously Satan tries to entrap Jesus. He quotes Psalm 91.1-2, nearly verbatim. Why is this important for us to understand? Satan is not only familiar with the Scriptures, he knows them well. In the garden he had already proven his ability to twist God’s word; he is quite the expert of deception. If Jesus demonstrated authority over the angels, He would have done it out of His own need to prove Himself,an action uncharacteristic of who Jesus was/is. Jesus responded with Scripture (Deuteronomy 6.16).
Jesus responded with a powerful truth claim. When Jesus reminded Satan of Deuteronomy 6.16, He was identifying Himself as the one who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land. If you go back a little further, Jesus is claiming to be the one who was present with them in the wilderness. The Israelites tempted God as they complained about their thirst, they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not? Exodus 17.7 Despite God’s miraculous rescue and provision, the Israelites wanted proof of God’s presence; they felt abandoned and their faith had declined. Jesus was telling Satan two things. Firstly, God does not have to prove Himself. Secondly, I am, Who you think I am.
Next time you are wondering if God is with you, remember these verses. Even though God provided water to His people in the wilderness, He was offended at their need for a sign. He considered their words a temptation. When we are tempted to question God’s presence in our lives, it would help us to remember His faithfulness that we read about in the scope of Scripture.