Day 4: Mortar And Motives (Genesis 9-11; Matthew 4)

Rock and sky on background

Further reading: Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:12-16; Hebrews 2:18

The hearts of man have not changed since the sons of Noah. After God had told them to be fruitful and multiply across the face of the earth, they instead decided to come together to build the Tower of Babel. It directly opposed God’s command; they thought only of themselves. Selfishness and pride were once again at work in their hearts.

We each have areas of temptation in our hearts; desires that we think can be fulfilled by some kind of tangible renown. The enemy used this against Jesus during His temptation in the wilderness while He was without food and water for forty days and forty nights. Satan appealed to Jesus’s earthly hunger when he tried to provoke Him to turn stone into bread. In His weakened condition, the enemy dared Jesus to throw Himself from the temple turret to see if God would send an angel to rescue Him. Lastly, after taking Jesus to a high mountain peak, Satan offered Him the visible kingdoms of the world if He worshiped him. Jesus’s response immediately quickens our spirit because every single day we come against this temptation and yet we know we cannot worship two masters.

God knows the state of our hearts. What we try to build up for ourselves reveals the true conditions of our hearts. Those who tried to build the Tower of Babel were trying to glorify their own names instead of God’s. When we’re tempted, we are choosing between our selfish desires and honoring God’s will. The things we desire are always temporary. Even the highest or strongest tower built by stone and clay will come crashing down. But the choices we make to honor God, even when we cannot immediately see them, will have eternal rewards.  

When you’ve come against temptation, how have you fought against it?

What does Jesus’s response to Satan teach you about combating temptation? 

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7 thoughts on “Day 4: Mortar And Motives (Genesis 9-11; Matthew 4)

  1. The fact that Satan tempted Jesus with something that wasn’t a sin in and of itself is genius. I get tempted by this method very often. Making bread out of stones isn’t a sin, when you think about it. But Satan isn’t stupid. If Jesus had listened to Satan, he wouldn’t be relying on God anymore for his needs.
    Satan tempts us like that, too. He takes something that isn’t a sin and says ‘come on, it isn’t a sin. It just isn’t completely Christian.’ But we need to realize that those things bring us farther away from God. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with watching a movie or listening to songs that aren’t Christian. But if those things bring us farther away from God, then it becomes a sin.
    I never thought about it this way before today. But now, I’m equipped to fight Satans method head on. May God bless everyone!

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    1. Thanks so much Priscilla! We’re told that we have an enemy who is a thief who has come to steak, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) and what we’re fighting isn’t flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this age (Eph 6:12). The best way that we can win against this war is by putting the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). May you continue fighting Satan’s lies with the Truth of His Word and by the power of His Spirit!

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  2. Usually when fighting against temptation, I would pray and ask the Lord to help me when I am struggling or I would ask him for guidance. Sometimes I would just walk away and do my best to avoid the evil thoughts that are being whispered to me. After reading this, I realize how important it is to be strong in the Word of God. Jesus clearly knew and understood the Scriptures so well, that even when the Devil tried to ”muddle up” the Word of God, Jesus remained faithful to the Father. It might be useful to write down in a journal some verses that can be useful to protect from the evil one’s schemes, especially James 1:12-16 and Hebrews 2:18! If we are not careful, it is easy to deceived by Satan.

    Somehow, I have a feeling that this reading is a warning from God to me about being deceived by Satan! 3 years ago, I have been baptized on the same day as my mum three years ago at our home. I felt that God recognized both of our baptisms but I didn’t really understand what baptism really represented in the Scripture at that time ( My Mum was pressured into doing it). However, this year, I felt that God was telling me in my heart that he would like me to be baptized for him to make a public commitment for him in the church we are at. On New Years, I talked to my mum and she felt that God was telling both of us to make a public commitment by being baptized for Jesus and she felt God wanted her to get baptized when she saw the church’s notice for a baptism service.

    As soon as this was confirmed, people that have baptized me from our old home group ( who we have not seen for a year) just arrived at the house unexpectedly and saying I can’t be re-baptized. Recently, my pastor at church talked about ‘discernment’ and talked about a story from Kings ( a man of God told to fast but he ate food because he got deceived by the old prophet). He encouraged us to look at Scriptures to really see what is the voice of God. I can’t help wondering if Satan is trying to ‘muddle’ his word to make me doubt what God’s will is. What steps would you recommend me to do? Am I just over-analyzing this? Thanks:)

    ,

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    1. Hi Anne-Sophie. As one who has had two baptisms, I don’t see a scriptural problem with it. Jesus commands us to be water baptized as an illustration of dying to self and re-emerging into new life but He never put a limit on it. From my personal experience, the first time I was baptized I didn’t really know the implication of it. The second time was years after the first and I felt like it was more of a re-dedication of my vows to Him just as a married couple renews their vows. They’ve gone through the years of struggles and victories, tears and laughter. Satan will always try to get us to turn away from the things of the Lord so if you believe God is lying it on your heart to re-dedicate yourself then obey Him. I would also recommend speaking to the Pastor at your current church to let him know what’s been going on. I’m a firm believer in being accountable to the authority placed over us in our local church (as long as they are following Scripture…but that means I need to know what Scripture is saying as well!). Hope that helps!

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    1. Hi Hana, that’s a good question! From reading it a little more, I began to wonder why Ham didn’t just cover his father’s nakedness rather than tell his brothers. When he’s cursing Canaan, I believe Noah is actually cursing Ham’s family line starting with Canaan who is his first born son. Noah is definitely not without some fault in this since he got drunk in the first place but it says that he knew what his younger son had done, which we’re not told how he knew. When Scripture is silent about things, it means we don’t need to delve too deeply into it. Hope that helps you!

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  3. What does Jesus’s response to Satan teach you about combating temptation?

    Jesus’s reply to the Devils temptation began with “it is written”. There is power in the word of God.
    This year one of my goals is to focus on scripture memorization. This will make my faith stronger as well as give me strength to fight temptations.

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