9 October 2022: Trials in life – attacks of the devil, or is God actually in control?

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

9 October 2022



Words by Emily May Crawford 1864-1927, Music by Harold Green 1871-1931, Played and sung by Esther Fox


Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”

Matt. 4:4

Matthew 4:1 makes it clear that God the Father is in control and working out His purposes, and by His Spirit leads His Son to be tested by Satan: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil.” For sure, when we go through hard times, such brings out what is really in our hearts. Israel was led into the wilderness for this purpose:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these 40 years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.

Deut. 8:2

We learn some very valuable lessons in how to walk closely with our Heavenly Father and how to overcome the enemy both of which are vital for spiritual victory. It is clear that the Father has required His Son to fast for 40 days (cf. Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness). Satan comes along and tempts Him with the thought of short-cutting this by turning stones into bread which must have seemed very appealing after nearly 40 days without food.

In the Greek there are at least 2 words for “word” – ‘logos’ being the whole of the Scriptures, and ‘rhema’ being that word the Spirit brings to us for a given situation, a specific, spoken word. W.E. Vine in his Expository Dictionary of NT words explains it like this:

“The significance of ‘rhema’ (as distinct from ‘logos’) is exemplified in the injunction in Ephesians 6:17 to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (‘rhema’) of God.” Here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual Scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need. A prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture.”

W. E. Vine

Interestingly the devil realises that Jesus is answering him with a Scripture during each test so he also starts quoting Scripture:

Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” [from Psalm 91:11-12].

Matt. 4:5-7

But this isn’t the word the Spirit is bringing into this situation. The Spirit exposes Satan’s motive and brings a word from Deuteronomy

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

Deuteronomy 6:16

Jesus doing it His Father’s way ends up with so much more than anything the devil can offer Him; Compare:

The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me”

Matt 4:8-9


Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Matt. 28:18

Let us also live by every word that comes from the mouth of God, Amen!

Quote of the week

“We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them”

Charles West

Verse of the week

No test has overtaken you except what is common to humankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Cor. 10:13

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, Your ways are the only ways to live. But to do that we need to hear from You Lord. So Father, help us in our busy lives, to be still and know that You are God, and to spend quality time listening to You, that You by Your Spirit might speak too us in Jesus Christ, Amen!