The Challenge of Satan: Part Two


Satan used the Word of God (specifically a Psalm) to tempt Jesus. Satan was trying to find a way to control God.

Mark 1:12-13


In Satan’s second temptation of Christ, he tempted the Savior to fanaticism. Thwarted in his first attempt, he said, “All right. You’re going to meet me as a man. You’re going to trust in the Word of God. You know, I’m something of a Bible student myself, and I found a verse back in the Psalms that says, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ You don’t have to go all this rough way to the cross. I’m willing to bow out of the picture and leave. I’ll just turn over the province if You’ll do it my way. You just go up there on top of the pinnacle of the temple. There’s a crowd down below, and if You jump off, the crowd will say, ‘Oh, look, there’s a man falling.’ But according to this verse, You’ll suddenly start floating down instead, and they’ll say, “This is the Messiah: You will have accomplished Your purpose by trusting in this verse” (See Matthew 4:5–6).

Again Jesus answered as a man and said, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God”’ (Matthew 4:7). The devil was saying to Jesus, “Jesus, put Your trust in a word, not the One who spoke it.” But Jesus said, “I am not going to tempt God My Father. I am not going to go against His will. I am not going to try to manipulate His words or force His hand. I am not, as a man, going to attempt to control God. It shall be as God leads, not at My direction. God’s purposes will be accomplished His way, not Mine.”


  • What Psalms does Satan quote?
  • What was Satan tempting him with here?
  • How is this form of temptation an attempt to control God?


  • Read the Psalms that Satan quotes. What is the true meaning of these texts?


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