Tag Archives: Adam and Eve

Overcoming Temptation

One needs to draw a clear distinction between test and temptation. Job in the Old Testament is perhaps a very appropriate circumstance that can be used to differentiate what test means as distinct from temptation. In the Book of Job 1: 6-22 the bible made it clear that HE (God)knew Job as a perfect man who would never abandon HIM, the God of all creation. The basis for allowing Satan to test Job was that He was very sure who Job was, it was a means of proving Satan wrong that Satan has not conquered all the children of God; more so that not all his children had allowed pride to ruin their relationship with God. Whereas, Satan’s idea of temptation is seeking to destroy those who stood in complete obedience to God. In Job 1: 6-22 Job was blessed richly and would always make sacrifices to cleanse his children in case they have committed sin against God. The following scenario proves the point. When God called His children, Satan followed them. At a point Satan referred to Job as being reverent to God because of his riches and went ahead to take excuse to tempt Job. God trusted the faith of Job that he would not fail; and therefore allowed Satan to tempt Job whose excellent relationship with God would prove Satan wrong. As far as Satan was concerned he was to tempt or coax or persuade Job to do wrong, or simply put to coax Job into denying God. In this, he troubled Jobs’ life with a series of losses or calamities including loss of all his children and complete destruction of his wealth. Within twenty-four hours all he stood for in life was ruined. His health was afflicted, three friends provoked him so as to denounce God, even his wife asked him to curse God and die as the pain and anguish got to a breaking point. In all, the faith of Job stood unshakened

In another circumstance, the serpent’s deceptive method to cause Eve to sin was by carefully leading Eve to take an action forbidden by God. The popular quote verse from Genesis 1: 1 “Yea, has God said, Yea shall not eat of the tree of the garden?” was the misleading question with Satan’s answer “Ye shall not surely die”, which led to the fall of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3: 1-4 (KJV) Joseph was also tempted with amorous relationship with Potiphar’s wife, but he being guided by God refused the overture Genesis 39:7-23. It landed him in jail and the wisdom of God led him from “From prison to the Palace” of King Pharaoh as the Prime Minister in a foreign land. To Potiphar’s wife, it was an enjoyable offer but to Joseph, it was an abominable breach of trust and heinous crime against God.

It is crucial to know and watch out for the ways in which Satan has always tempted we humans. He attacks that most vulnerable part of any person in order to make human species sin. According to 2Corinthians 2: 11 (KJV). It says “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are ignorant of his devices”. Briefly, temptation has the nature of “carrot and stick” whereas testing a person has the nature of who is on the defensive mode and cannot be moved?  The barrenness of Sarah did not cause Abraham to stumble in faith. The need for him to sacrifice Isaac to God was the most daunting test of faith. Abraham obeyed and God showed forth at the point of slaughtering the promised child. Testing is thus for evaluating known faith, or standard of living, but more so, faith in God. Is there anyone that is above temptation? Of course, no one is above temptation. Our Lord Jesus was even tempted by the devil. In Matthew 4: 1-11 Jesus used the word of God known to be the sword of the spirit to defeat the devil. Jesus always countered the devil by saying.  “It is written: Man shall not leave by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God”. To be able to overcome temptation it is still the precept of Christ we are supposed to follow, because that was how Jesus Christ overcame the devil. The way to corner and defeat the devil using THE WORD OF GOD can be traced to 1 Peter 5: 8-9 where Jesus declared “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh  about, seeking who he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world”.

Let us realize that Satan always shows itself as Angel of light 2 Corinthians 11: 14-15 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” What can we do to overcome the temptation always posed by Satan? Jesus has told us to watch and pray or else we would yield to temptation as in Matthew6: 13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and power, and the glory for ever Amen”. It is reechoed in Matthew 26: 41 that says: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. In 1 Corinthians 10: 12, we are admonished to take heed: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves, but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. Also in James 4: 7, we are enjoined to; “Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. We should be praying without ceasing.

The bottom line in Ephesians 6: 10-13 (KJV) “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand”. Praise the Lord.

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Lose Focus and Lose Out

With due respect to the ancestors of human race, Adam and Eve were somehow naive or inexperienced when it came to preempting the beguiling serpent. The bible narrated their expulsion from the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:  22-23. With this precedence of losing focus and losing precious opportunity that the Hebrews knew very well, there should be no excuse for them (The children of Israel) to have to forget or abandon the God of their forefathers. The Almighty that got them released from bondage did not tell them that HE would stop supporting them. The release was done in consequence of 10 different afflictions on the Egyptians as recorded in Exodus Chapters 7-12.

Human nature being weak and at times weird by the way in which they always forget to learn from past experiences, continued to be amazing. The miraculous parting of the Red Sea into two for the Hebrews to pass through amidst fear and trembling while same Red Sea swallowed the Egyptian hosts and their King was enough to teach them that their God was awesome and sovereign. Moses was a vessel of honor to God, with or without him God was enough to solve the problems confronting them. With this in mind, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Code of Conduct (10 commandments) meant to set before them standard of behavior that would endear them to their God. Instead of recalling the goodness of the Lord throughout their life in bondage and in the ongoing wilderness experiences, they lost focus on their God. Rather than waiting patiently for Moses to return from his appointment with God on Mt. Sinai, they mounted pressure on Aaron to create a golden calf to represent their God that delivered them from bondage in Egypt. Surprisingly, Aaron of all people, lost focus by acceding to the people’s request to turn away from God that loved them so much. Were it not Moses who stood in the gap for them, God could have wiped them out in his annoyance over his people’s stiff-necked disobedience. Exodus 32: 11-14.

Without trying to be vulgar, there was a man driving on a busy city road in Lagos, Nigeria and happened to sight a lady fit to be described as a paragon of beauty. He was  carried away by what he saw and instantly lost focus. Instead of concentrating on the road, he drifted off the road and smashed his car against a concrete slab with protruding  reinforcement rods. The rods pierced the front of his car and his body. He paid dearly with his life because of losing focus. It has always been so throughout the ages. From biblical example, Judges 13:15, Samson the anointed one to deliver the Jews from the constant ravaging of the Philistines started well as a Nazarite with divine power meant for crushing the enemies of the Jews. His choice of women to love choked him. Delilah’s love so overwhelmed him that he released to her the secret of his superhuman power. It led to his capture and torment. His eyes were plucked out. However, God never loses focus of what he has ordained, in that while in captivity his source of power rejuvenated and as the hair were growing he prayed penitently and fervently to God to avenge his captivity. Words of God once spoken never returned to him void. This is why God granted his prayer that agreed with his mission on earth Judges 16: 28-30. We see in Verse 28 that says: And Samson called on to the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines of my two eyes”. Samson still fulfilled his mission but not in the most glorious manner. Great personalities that lost focus and consequently lost out was King Solomon. He was the one who did not do well before God and made God to ensure that the ten-tribe Northern kingdom was excised out of the twelve tribes under King David though not during Solomon’s reign. God actually remembered David’s total submission to His Holy will and shifted the break away to Rehoboam’s reign.