Do You Not Trust His Promises?

IMGP2009The tempter comes to Him in the desert, whispers lies masquerading as truth in His ears.

“If you are who you claim to be, turn these stones to bread,” he mocks, striking at His point of need, at His hunger, His identity. Show me who you really are. Prove yourself to me.

Later, atop a mountain, the world spread beneath them.

“It’s yours,” he promises, apparently his to give, at least for the time being. “Bow down, and it’s yours.” Power. The people He loves. An easier path.

And then, at the pinnacle of the temple, the very house of God. The city He longs to tend and to protect at His feet.

“Throw yourself down,” the liar says, “for He has said He would care for you, would send His angels to lift you up. Do you not trust His promises?”

And his question reverberates down through the centuries until it lodges itself in my own heart, worms its way down deep.

“Do you not trust His promises?”

Oh, how he schemes, how he twists. How he takes the truth and bends it ever so slightly. How he plants his lies so that they seem to be reinforced by the Word.

“Do you not trust His promises?”

Verses and songs come to mind, passages about Him being faithful, about the relationship between our belief and His promise, hymns about standing on His promises, Truth every bit, Truth that he uses to accuse.

“Do you not trust His promises?”

Here is the trap, the one he has used from the beginning. “Did God not say …?” he asks, his deceiving voice dripping with the semblance of sincere concern. He pulls at scripture, tugging at it so that it means what I want it mean, so that I claim promises that are not there, that were not meant for me.

“Do you not trust His promises?”

Oh, he is wily. Oh, he is vile. For he knows I will bite. He knows I am weak, that I want to trust, want to please, want to hope, and he uses these things against me.

“Do you not trust His promises?”

And I listen. I fall prey to his trick, rely on a promise that is not really there. I believe God will act in a certain way, do a certain thing, but then He does not and my world comes crashing down and the tempter has won again, for my faith feels less solid, less certain.

“Do you not trust His promise?” he asked as they stood on the very temple of God, the one place where the divine came down to man, the physical reminder of God’s covenant with His people. “Do you not trust His promises?” he whispered, drawing on holy words written long ago to set his trap. “Do you not trust His promises?” echoes in my own heart, and I pray that, this time, I might have the wisdom to see through his lies, to discern the way he distorts the Truth. I pray that, this time, I might be as Jesus instead of Eve. I pray that, this time, I might have the faith to declare, “Yes, I do. And that isn’t one of them.”

We discussed Psalm 91 at our bible study last week, which led to this post. The main ideas expressed here are not originally mine; I drew from what other people in the group said. That said, any theological or scriptural errors are mine and mine alone.

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