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Don’t Quibble with Satan about Misquoting Scripture
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And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Satan, the father of lies, is self-deceived. Therefore, if we are in Christ, who is very Truth (John 14:6), then half the battle is won when we are confronted with Satan’s wicked wiles and deceptions. In Christ’s temptations in the wilderness, the Lord Jesus responds with God’s holy Word each time. After the first two responses, Satan himself attempted to appeal to the Scriptures. The devil misquoted Psalm 91 by leaving out a small phrase,
…in all your ways. Psalm 91:11
Christ’s purpose for coming to the planet was to go to the cross. Jesus told Pontius Pilate as much when the governor questioned the Lord about His kingship. Jesus said,
“You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” John 18:37
Notice, in Christ’s response to Satan’s temptation, He didn’t quibble with the devil about getting the verse wrong. Jesus went straight to the crux of the matter by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. “Throw Yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple,” Satan said to Jesus (Luke 4:9), appealing to a miracle of Christ’s power as Messiah so everyone there might see who Jesus was. Yet this would have taken Jesus away from His mission of the cross, for the cross is the sum of all His “ways” (Psa 91:11).
Whenever we are tempted, by our own flesh, or Satan’s minions (Eph 6:12), or his false apostles (2 Cor 11:13-15), we need not argue with them about their misuse or misquoting Scripture. We need to keep at Christ’s cross. The Christian life is crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20) and makes its boast in Christ’s cross alone (Gal 6:14). Any departure from the gospel truth of atoning grace in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, is putting God to the test.
God charg’d His angels, they must keep
And guard the ways of Christ;
His destiny’s upon a tree,
To be sin’s Sacrifice.