Skip to main content

What Does it Mean to Tempt God?

Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"
"Yes," she said, "that is the price."
Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." (Acts 5:8-9)

Trying to tempt God is a serious crime in the Scripture. When the devil came to Jesus and told Him to throw Himself off the pinnacle of a temple so that God would be bound to release His angels to bear Him up, Jesus replied:

"It is written again, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God." (Matthew 4:7)

The Bible makes it very clear that God is not tempted; "for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13). In fact, the Bible is very stringent against those who try to tempt anyone:

Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin" (Luke 17:1-2).

We are not to be the cause of temptation to sin to anyone; therefore, Jesus warns:

"So watch yourselves.
"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4)

If we fail to forgive someone and act out our unforgiving spirit, it becomes a cause of stumbling for others and this is a serious crime against God. Also, someone who keeps on digging graves and repeating the past matter is not acting out of love but out of a sinful, alienating spirit.

"He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends." (Proverbs 17:9)

Therefore, we must be careful in our behavior and attitude (even dressing and eating habits) to not be the cause of temptation or stumbling to anyone.

Now, when it comes to the matter of tempting God, what does that mean? Following are a few things that count as tempting God:

First, the following verses:
So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink."
Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?" (Exo 17:2)
Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. (Deu 6:16)
But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test." (Isa 7:12)
Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Mat 4:7)
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? (Mat 22:18)
Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." (Act 5:9)
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? (Act 15:10)
We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. (1Co 10:9)

1. To tempt God means to sin with an attitude that God will overlook the sin (e.g. Ananias and Sapphira). It is trying to tempt God to do something against His righteous and holy nature. God never overlooks sin, though He overlooks times of ignorance.
2. To tempt God means to try to provoke Him to anger by saying or doing foolish things with the attitude that "It is His duty to take care of me" and "God cannot do anything against ME because I am something special." It comes out of taking God's love and kind mercies for granted.
3. To tempt God means to do things out of doubt and unbelief; to try to see if what God said is really true or not despite knowing that His word is logically indubitable. It is like a child who doesn't believe it when his dad says that he will be spanked if he does something wrong. The child tries to check if his dad is really serious and so does the very act. This kind of attitude is very serious when we act in the same way with God. No unbelief is permitted in His presence. It invites the chastening rod of God.
4. When one rebels against God-given authority and conspires against God's anointed ones, one commits the sin of tempting God. It is so because they try to falsely interpret even good actions as wrong and try to paint a wrong picture of godly people before men. This flares up the heavens against their own lives. Do not take the role of God or try to do what rightly belongs to Him. It is He who appoints and He who puts down. Remember David who refused to raise his hand against Saul, though he had turned bad, because He knew Saul was anointed and appointed by God.
5. Tempting God means to try to make God do things in accordance with our will and desire. One may falsely quote scriptures or try various tantrums to provoke Him. Temptation means trying to get someone to do something by trying to excite that person's passions and emotions on behalf of the goal of temptation. It is only human blindness that makes them think that they can tempt God in this way. It brings judgment on self.

The Bible says: "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him." (Psalm 34:8). To taste means to come and experience. An ignorant person who doesn't know the Lord comes and experiences Him and knows that He is truly good. He becomes a blessed man since he trusts in Him. However, someone who knows the Lord and then grows irritating, provocative, and lousy with regard to spiritual matters brings disaster on himself. Living in repentance and submission in humility and reverence by living in the presence of God and the fellowship of His Spirit and His Word are necessary for abiding in His grace.

Comments

daniel said…
Great exposition of the Word of God.

Popular posts from this blog

Couplets (Dohas) by Rahim and Kabir With English Meanings

Khanzada Mirza Khan Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana(17 December 1556 – 1626) (Hindi: अब्दुल रहीम ख़ान-ए-ख़ाना, Urdu: عبدالرحيم خان خانان), also known as Rahim (रहीम, رحیم) was a poet who lived during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar. He was one of the nine important ministers (dewan) in his court, also known as the Navaratnas. Rahim is known for his Hindi couplets and his books on astrology. The village of Khankhana, which is named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India. (Wikipedia)
Couplets (Dohas) of Rahim जो रहीम उत्तम प्रकृति, का करी सकत कुसंग,
चन्दन विष व्यापत नहीं, लिपटे रहत भुजंग.
A person of excellent nature cannot be corrupted by bad company.
Sandalwood is untouched by the poison of a serpent coiled around the tree. बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय.
रहिमन फाटे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय.
A million attempts cannot mend a spoiled matter,
As much churning can't turn spoiled milk to butter. रहिमन देखि बड़ेन को, लघु न दीजिए डारि.
जहां काम आवे सु…

Fight Against Corruption

Denmark ranks as the 1st among the world's least corrupt countries. Singapore ranks 8th. India ranks 65th. North Korea and Somalia rank 149th.

A study of these systems reveal the following facts.

1. An Anti-corruption agency, independent of the police and executive is crucial to check corruption. Countries having multiple anti-corruption agencies don't seem to have much success. One cannot remove dirt with dirt; one has to use an agent that is intrinsically anti-dirt (soap-water). Singapore's "anti-corruption agency, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), is well resourced and independent. It is empowered to investigate any person, even police officers and ministers, and conducts public outreach to raise public awareness and shape social norms." (Lee Hsien Loong)

2. In countries like Singapore, the high-level officials are paid well and corruption is kept at bay at that level. The idea is that anti-corruption begins from top to bottom. "There i…

The Call of Moses: The First Excuse (Exodus 3)

Exodus 3 and 4 record God's call of Moses to deliver the people of Israel and lead them into the Promised Land.

BackgroundHebrews 11:23 tells us that the parents of Moses were strong believers.

Hebrews 11:24-26 tells us that when the time came for Moses to choose, he "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. (Heb 11:24-26)

In other words, Moses was a person who made a honest choice to follow Christ and His path of suffering. It is wrong to imagine that if Moses would have been patient and not killed the Egyptian he would have become the next Pharaoh. The Bible says that He actually made the choice to refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. It seems that Egyptian politics was deeply tied with their polytheistic religion that in a way also dei…