Thursday, October 10, 2013

Battle in the Wilderness: Giving Glory (Luke 4:6, Isaiah 48:11)

And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. (Luke 4:6 NASB)
"... My glory I will not give to another. (Isaiah 48:11 NASB)

Glory. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines glory as "worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving". This is the kind of glory we give to God. An alternate definition is "great beauty and splendor" which is used to describe the magnificence of a civilization. The Greek word used here is doxa, and, according to biblestudytools.org, in the NT it is always used to indicate "a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory". 

The devil was offering Jesus "doxa", but it was the magnificence of a civilization instead of the worshipful praise which was His due. There was a similarity to what Jesus was to receive after His resurrection, but it wasn't the "real thing".  It was a quick, seemingly painless alternative. It was the easy out, but redemption would not be accomplished, and fellowship with His Father would be irretrievably broken. What the devil was not offering was the glory of God. That is not shared and was not his to give. 

As we have said before, the temptation would not have been offered if it had not had appeal for Jesus. The time in the wilderness was a point of no return. Either He was going all the way to the cross, or He was not going at all. 

Praise God, Jesus was not deceived by this temptation and was able to rebuff the enemy of His soul once again.  We, too, must not be deceived into thinking the easy out will bring the blessings only God can provide. What is your temptation point? In what way are you tempted to compromise? 

Today, pray that every temptation to compromise and accept the devil's imitation of God's best (for ourselves and our loved ones) will be recognizable and quickly refused. Pray that our children will be willing to take the harder path of obedience to God rather than the seemingly-easier way of the world.