Friday, October 11, 2013

Battle in the Wilderness: the Steep Price (Luke 4:7)

"Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours." (Luke 4:7 NASB)

Once more we see that there is a price for yielding to the temptation. The temptation for the glory the world can give comes at a very steep price. Jesus was tempted to trade eternal dominion for temporary public approval, but the price was to worship a false god. Of course, we look at this and say, "Why would Christ be tempted to worship the devil?" Jesus knew that he was the deceiver. He knew he was the angel of light who, after a rebellious uprising had been evicted from his place in heaven.

Let's look a little closer. The word translated worship is the Greek word proskuneo and, according to the New Testament Greek Lexicon, means "to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand". It is a word used to "show homage by a person of lesser rank".  The devil was attempting to extract a price he could never have. He was asking Jesus to "cry uncle", concede defeat, and acknowledge him as the greater power. The devil was not looking for the love and devotion of Jesus. He was looking for humiliation and defeat of the Almighty.

To have what the evil one promised was possible, and it did require worship of one other than Jehovah. It required worship of self and instant gratification. One day, every knee will bow to Jesus as Lord. The question in the wilderness that day was whether He was willing to wait for God's best or was going to take matters into His own hands and settle for what He could have immediately.

Every time one of God's children faces temptation, part of the price we will pay for yielding is this worship of self and settling for less than what God had planned. Satan's desire is to defeat God Himself, but he will settle for defeating one of his children. Temptation looks a little different when viewed that way, doesn't it?

Today, pray that we and our children will recognize the temptations that come our way, as well as the cost those temptations bring, and that we will choose to wait for God's best.