And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:3-4 ESV)
In my old hometown there was a mall with only three businesses occupying the strip; a weight loss company, a ladies gym and . . . a candy store. It made me giggle every time I drove past. Talk about temptation knocking on your door!
The candy store went out of business.
Jesus understood temptation, and I am so thankful that He included the passage showing how the very King of Kings dealt with Satan’s lies. He spoke back scripture to every instance. The Greek translation for ‘word’ as it is used here is rhēma: that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word. Power comes from verbally throwing the Sword of scripture. I’m so thankful for my Sunday School teachers that encouraged me to memorize verses – they outfitted me as a child for spiritual warfare!
Jesus was the Word, and yet He spoke it at Satan to defeat him and to walk away from temptation. We need to live His example out instead of struggling under our own power to withstand the pull of sin. By writing down key verses that hold meaning to us and our circumstances, and carrying them with us, we can then speak them out loud – especially when under attack! I’m surprised how even my old brain can still memorize this way.
Father, we thank You that You sent Your perfect Son to show us how to live out our lives and to withstand the attack of the enemy. Help us today to write Your word upon our hearts and minds that we could effectively retrieve the Sword and ward off temptations. Amen