Lent • Day 26

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Matthew 4:5-7

Testing reveals the truth.

Hunger revealed that Israel did not trust God to provide. But hunger revealed Jesus trusted God for his physical and spiritual needs. Jesus passed the test Israel failed.

Then came the second test.

The devil suggested Jesus throw himself from a high place to see if his Father would protect him as he’d promised.

Can you still trust God? Is God still with you?

“Do not put the Lord your God to the test,” Jesus answered.

Follow those words like bread crumbs back to Deuteronomy 6 and we discover that Israel faced this same test in their wilderness too.

Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.

Deuteronomy 6:13-16

At Massah, the Israelites had become so thirsty they rose up like an angry mob against Moses and demanded water to drink. “Why do you put the LORD to the test?” Moses asked them.

Moses named that place Massah, which means testing, because there the Israelites “tested the Lord by asking, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?'” (Exodus 17:7)

We test when we don’t trust. When we suspect that all is not as it seems. To get to the truth. To make sure.

The LORD broke their chains, peeled back the waves, drowned the chariots, led them by fire and cloud, fed them manna every morning and quail every night, and still they questioned…

Can we still trust God? Is God still with us?

But Jesus trusted. Yes, I do. Yes, God still is.

The wilderness revealed once again that Jesus was more than Israel had been.


• What is making it difficult to trust God right now?

Our Prayer

LORD, in this wilderness we are thirsty and tempted to wonder if you are still with us and for us? We choose to believe. Help our unbelief.

Today, the sabbath day, we will do nothing to provide for ourselves. We practice trusting that you are with us and for us. We choose to believe. Help our unbelief.