Are You Tempting God?
August 6, 2018 • By Ed Wrather
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” – Matthew 4:5-6 NKJV.
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” – Matthew 4:7 NKJV.
Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. – 1 Corinthians 10:8-10 NKJV.
The odds of being a victim of a shark attack in the waters of the United States is one in 11.5 million. The odds of being attack and injured by a bear in the United States is one in 2.1 million. The odds of being bitten by a venomous snake in the United States is one in 37,500. 20-year-old Dylan McWilliams has been the victim of a shark attack, a bear attack, and a rattlesnake bite and surprisingly has lived to tell about it. The odds of this occurring in one person’s life is 893.35 quadrillion to one. McWilliams says he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time and “I still go hiking, I still catch rattlesnakes, and I will still swim in the ocean.” (Across Colorado Patch 04.22.2018)
To understand how astounding this is for McWilliams to have been attacked in this way consider the odds of being struck by lightening in your entire lifetime is one in 5,000. The odds of being killed in a car accident are just one in 112. It would appear for whatever reason God has protected McWilliams. However, for him to continue to place himself in dangerous situations is approaching the tempting of God. Certainly, it is foolish behavior when you have been in such close proximity to death three times already.
In Matthew 4:5-6 the devil is actually quoting from Psalm 91:11-12. Psalm 91 is a psalm about God’s protection from danger. However, it is not about protection from unnecessary exposure to danger.
In our everyday lives we are exposed to dangers such as lightening strikes and car accidents. It is surely God’s will for us to pray for His protection from those dangers and other threats to our lives and to those we love. Asking God to protect us as the Psalmist was protected in Psalm 91 is a good thing to do. However, if we foolishly place ourselves repeatedly in situations we know are very dangerous we should not expect God to always supernaturally intervene and protect us.