All the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-11)

What would you give for this kind of power?

Advertisements

Open Matthew 4:8-11.

“All the kingdoms of the world!” Satan claims to have them. He offers them to Jesus. History is full of people who would kill for that! Empires will do anything for that kind of power!

But how can Satan claim to have the kingdoms of the world anyway? The Jewish hymns declare that YHWH rules the whole earth and advise the nations to acknowledge him (e.g. Psalms 2, 8, 45, 72, 79, 97, 99, 110, 149). Does Satan really have all the kingdoms in his grasp? Well, … sort of. Continue reading “All the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-11)”

Putting God on the spot (Matthew 4:5-7)

Trusting God, or testing God? What’s the difference?

Open Matthew 4:5-7 and Psalm 91:11-12.

Psalm 91:1–2 (NIV)
1
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

We love the psalms of trust. They calm our concerns. Fear subsides; faith soars. Beyond our immediate struggle, they help us see the unchanging love of our sovereign. We hold onto the one who holds us securely.

But there’s a world of difference between trusting God to hold us, and manoeuvring so God has to catch us. That’s what Satan suggested to Jesus: “Jump off the extremity of the temple: God said he’d look after you.” Continue reading “Putting God on the spot (Matthew 4:5-7)”

Why did God test Abraham? (Genesis 22:10-12)

What was the point of testing Abraham? Why this specific test?

We’ve approached the testing of Abraham from a modern perspective (Why did Abraham plan to kill his son?) and from a Jewish perspective (The binding of Isaac). What about a kingdom perspective? Continue reading “Why did God test Abraham? (Genesis 22:10-12)”