“Every morning and evening for forty days the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:16, CSB) giant came out on the hillside to curse the Israelite’s and their God. For forty days, Goliath mocked them! He ridiculed. He teased and taunted.
In similar fashion, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1–11, CSB). “Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (Luke 4:1–13, CSB). “He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12–13, CSB). For forty days, Satan mocked Jesus! He ridiculed. He teased and taunted.
Can you imagine the Devil’s snarling voice? “Aren’t you hungry? It’s been forty days since your last meal!” ... “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:3, CSB). “If?”
The dirty Devil then took Jesus to the highest spire in the temple complex where they could survey the sprawling landscape of Jerusalem. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down” (Matthew 4:6, CSB). “If you’re really God’s beloved Son, perform a dramatic swan-dive into the waiting arms of your angelic protectors.”
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me’ ” (Matthew 4:8-9, CSB). “Skip the cross,” the Enemy suggested. “There’s an easier way! If you’ll worship me, I’ll coronate you as king!” He lied.
Jesus can “sympathize with our weaknesses” because He was “tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore,” we’re invited to “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16, CSB). The Devil tried every dirty trick, and still, Jesus remained “holy, innocent, undefiled” (Hebrews 7:26, CSB). “There is no sin in him” (1 John 3:5, CSB). Alone, in the wilderness, Jesus refused to sin! “He knew no sin!” (2 Corinthians 5:21, CSB).
Are you in the wilderness, in that place where you feel alone, broken, helpless, hopeless, afraid, vulnerable, weary? “Your adversary the devil” hangs out in the wilderness “prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8, CSB).
Here’s great news: “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, CSB).
Jesus, the Son of God, came “to destroy the devil’s works” (1 John 3:8, CSB). Jesus went to the Cross “so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil!” (Hebrews 2:14, CSB).
Are you in the wilderness? Hold on to God’s promises! Trust Jesus to defeat the giant!