It’s not easy to read about the destruction of human life, even when those humans had been oppressive enemies of God’s people. They had their triumphs in this world, but their time was done. Completely done.
Justice. The Assyrians who had been ruthless to Israel and Judah would now be silent. God allowed and orchestrated their demise at the hands of the Babylonians, the same empire who trampled on Judah. Such an interesting time in history with profound messages from our Creator.
You are witnessing a milestone for this devotional blog! This is the 1,800th post! I chose this Bible passage especially for this occasion. The children at church sang a song about the armor of God yesterday–complete with battle gear made out of something indestructible that looked much like brown construction paper. The visual was incredible, but watching their innocent faces as they shared this timely message is what brought tears to my eyes. I knew this was the message God wanted me to share with you today.
We find ourselves living in challenging times. While true today, this statement could be said by many, if not all, past generations as well. Have no fear, God has set us up for success! Keeping our focus on God is the first step. Next, we have the “armor” Paul talks about here to give us all the security and hope we need. Let’s take a look at what we have access to.
We still see some of these very same sins in our day, don’t we? Striving for power often leads to manipulation, fraud, and violence. This is not new to our times. It might not even look that much different. The bottom line is that evil is still alive and well. Even though centuries have passed, the evil one is still using the same tricks to lure and engage his subjects.
I can truthfully say that I have laid awake at night on numerous occasions. However, I have never schemed against another. In those nights of tossing and turning, I’m usually extremely excited about something about to happen (like a trip to see family) or distraught over a situation that is really outside of my control, but for some reason I want to take it back rather than leaving it in God’s hands.
Does it make you feel better to know that even Jesus was tested? What can we learn from his response to the devil’s schemes?
We see Jesus in this passage from the perspective of knowing who he is and how his life played out. Imagine if we were only seeing him for the first time in these few verses. What if we didn’t understand or realize he was the Son of God? Read the passage again through that lens (yes, I know it’s hard).
What are your impressions now? Here are some of my observations.
The devil knew Jesus was the Son of God. I wonder how?
I can’t imagine not eating for 40 days! I definitely would be hungry, I’d want to eat everything in sight!
Boy, Jesus was strong to resist that bread!
The devil tried to use Scripture, too, to fool Jesus. Crafty. Some people try to use it for their own purposes, too.