The Great Temptation
"Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself."
We read in Genesis 13:16 that Abram has rescued Lot, his possessions and the people of Sodom. Now here in Genesis 14: 21 King Sodom tempts Abram to keep the possessions and give him back the people he rescued. Abram confidently responds by saying that he has sworn to the Lord that he will not take so much as a thread or sandal strap from the King because it would give him the ability to claim he made Abram rich. Abram wanted all the glory to point to God because he is the one that has promised him great reward.
Not only did God promise that he would make his offspring as the dust of the earth, he also promises to be his reward. He knows this reward is far greater than any worldly possession he could be promised.
“All these I will give you if you fall down and worship me.”
Let’s also look at the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan. In Matthew 4 we see Satan promising Jesus “all the goods for himself” also. Satan tells him he will give him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. All Jesus has to do is worship Satan instead of God. But Jesus too knows the greater reward is the plan of God. He knows the temporary thrill of glory on earth pales in comparison with the Kingdom of God. The reward of God’s greater plan to reconcile his lost people to himself through Jesus albeit overwhelming is so much better.
Jesus knew why God had him on earth and he knew the truth that God put in his word. He responds to Satan by quoting scripture - “Be gone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 14:10
What did both Abram and Jesus believe?
- God is real.
- God had spoken to them.
- God had a plan to rescue His people.
- God will not break his promises.
- God is better than anything the world can offer in place of Him.
- God gave them the ability to stand firm against the temptation to sin.
- God must get the glory.
What do you believe?
Abraham’s story is really God’s story and your story is also God’s story. So…
- Do you believe God is real?
- Do you believe that he speaks to you in your heart and in his word?
- Do you believe he has a plan to rescue you from the clutches of sin and death?
- Do you believe that God is trustworthy to carry out the things he promises in his word?
- Do you believe God is better than anything this world can offer you?
- Do you believe that the spirit of God lives in you and gives you the power to resist the temptation to sin?
- Do you believe he is worthy of all the glory?
Every story of every person in your holy word and every story of every person reading this is a part of your greater story. Be real to each one of us today and make yourself known in our hearts.
You have always had a plan to rescue us from the death that we desire to choose. You provide the way out of every temptation to sin. Make that way out clear and easy.
Lord, you are always better. Help us to know and understand the depth of that truth. Help us to believe it when we are struggling with unbelief and may you be glorified as we walk in faith!