If we were to attach a title to the first eleven verses of Matthew chapter four, it would be something like “a handbook for dealing with temptation”. Section one would deal with the fact that although James 1:13 makes it clear that God cannot tempt us with evil, that does not mean that God does not allow or even lead us into situations and circumstances that provide us with crucial spiritual insights: Insights concerning our weaknesses, but more importantly His power and purpose for our life. Section two would address our adversary who, like a roaring lion, prowls around looking for the susceptible, and although he is not all knowing, he is keenly aware of our weaknesses and moments of vulnerability. Those times may come while we are at a very low point in life (everything is coming unraveled), or it may come at a very high point in life (“everything we touch turns to gold”), but regardless of our life circumstance, Satan perceives an opportunity and he attacks the exact point of vulnerability. The final section would deal with the practical “how to” in regards to resisting the attacks of the adversary. It is no coincidence that this section would deal largely with the power of the word to stand against the lies of Satan and his misleading temptations, and the importance of scripture memorization, so that we are always prepared to give an authoritative response when temptation comes.
Thankfully, Jesus not only told us how to deal with temptation, but he showed us how, and as you read the opening verses of Matthew chapter 4, take time to reflect on your life, past and present, and identify the areas in your life that you are most vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. Then, take time to find Scripture that deals specifically with that temptation and determine to memorize it, so that when Satan attacks and temptation arises, you will be well armed with the power to force the devil to flee.
Numbers 32–34 (CSB)
1 The Reubenites and Gadites had a very large number of livestock. When they surveyed the lands of Jazer and Gilead, they saw that the region was a good one for livestock. 2 So the Gadites and Reubenites came to Moses, the priest Eleazar, and the leaders of the community and said: 3 “The territory of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 which the Lord struck down before the community of Israel, is good land for livestock, and your servants own livestock.” 5 They said, “If we have found favor with you, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Don’t make us cross the Jordan.” 6 But Moses asked the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your brothers go to war while you stay here? 7 Why are you discouraging the Israelites from crossing into the land the Lord has given them? 8 That’s what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9 After they went up as far as Eshcol Valley and saw the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. 10 So the Lord’s anger burned that day, and he swore an oath: 11 ‘Because they did not remain loyal to me, none of the men twenty years old or more who came up from Egypt will see the land I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—12 none except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, because they did remain loyal to the Lord.’ 13 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years until the whole generation that had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight was gone. 14 And here you, a brood of sinners, stand in your fathers’ place adding even more to the Lord’s burning anger against Israel. 15 If you turn back from following him, he will once again leave this people in the wilderness, and you will destroy all of them.” 16 Then they approached him and said, “We want to build sheep pens here for our livestock and cities for our dependents. 17 But we will arm ourselves and be ready to go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them into their place. Meanwhile, our dependents will remain in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has taken possession of his inheritance. 19 Yet we will not have an inheritance with them across the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance will be across the Jordan to the east.” 20 Moses replied to them, “If you do this—if you arm yourselves for battle before the Lord, 21 and every one of your armed men crosses the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies from his presence, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord—afterward you may return and be free from obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will belong to you as a possession before the Lord. 23 But if you don’t do this, you will certainly sin against the Lord; be sure your sin will catch up with you. 24 Build cities for your dependents and pens for your flocks, but do what you have promised.” 25 The Gadites and Reubenites answered Moses, “Your servants will do just as my lord commands. 26 Our dependents, wives, livestock, and all our animals will remain here in the cities of Gilead, 27 but your servants are equipped for war before the Lord and will go across to the battle as my lord orders.” 28 So Moses gave orders about them to the priest Eleazar, Joshua son of Nun, and the family heads of the Israelite tribes. 29 Moses told them, “If the Gadites and Reubenites cross the Jordan with you, every man in battle formation before the Lord, and the land is subdued before you, you are to give them the land of Gilead as a possession. 30 But if they don’t go across with you in battle formation, they must accept land in Canaan with you.” 31 The Gadites and Reubenites replied, “What the Lord has spoken to your servants is what we will do. 32 We will cross over in battle formation before the Lord into the land of Canaan, but we will keep our hereditary possession across the Jordan.” 33 So Moses gave them—the Gadites, Reubenites, and half the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph—the kingdom of King Sihon of the Amorites and the kingdom of King Og of Bashan, the land including its cities with the territories surrounding them. 34 The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran as fortified cities, and built sheep pens. 37 The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 as well as Nebo and Baal-meon (whose names were changed), and Sibmah. They gave names to the cities they rebuilt. 39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, captured it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to the clan of Machir son of Manasseh, and they settled in it. 41 Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, went and captured their villages, which he renamed Jair’s Villages. 42 Nobah went and captured Kenath with its surrounding villages and called it Nobah after his own name. 1 These were the stages of the Israelites’ journey when they went out of the land of Egypt by their military divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2 At the Lord’s command, Moses wrote down the starting points for the stages of their journey; these are the stages listed by their starting points: 3 They traveled from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the month. On the day after the Passover the Israelites went out defiantly in the sight of all the Egyptians. 4 Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying every firstborn male the Lord had struck down among them, for the Lord had executed judgment against their gods. 5 The Israelites traveled from Rameses and camped at Succoth. 6 They traveled from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness. 7 They traveled from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. 8 They traveled from Pi-hahiroth and crossed through the middle of the sea into the wilderness. They took a three-day journey into the Wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah. 9 They traveled from Marah and came to Elim. There were twelve springs and seventy date palms at Elim, so they camped there. 10 They traveled from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. 11 They traveled from the Red Sea and camped in the Wilderness of Sin. 12 They traveled from the Wilderness of Sin and camped in Dophkah. 13 They traveled from Dophkah and camped at Alush. 14 They traveled from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. 15 They traveled from Rephidim and camped in the Wilderness of Sinai. 16 They traveled from the Wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. 17 They traveled from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. 18 They traveled from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. 19 They traveled from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. 20 They traveled from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. 21 They traveled from Libnah and camped at Rissah. 22 They traveled from Rissah and camped at Kehelathah. 23 They traveled from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. 24 They traveled from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. 25 They traveled from Haradah and camped at Makheloth. 26 They traveled from Makheloth and camped at Tahath. 27 They traveled from Tahath and camped at Terah. 28 They traveled from Terah and camped at Mithkah. 29 They traveled from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah. 30 They traveled from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. 31 They traveled from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. 32 They traveled from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. 33 They traveled from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. 34 They traveled from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. 35 They traveled from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. 36 They traveled from Ezion-geber and camped in the Wilderness of Zin (that is, Kadesh). 37 They traveled from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor on the edge of the land of Edom. 38 At the Lord’s command, the priest Aaron climbed Mount Hor and died there on the first day of the fifth month in the fortieth year after the Israelites went out of the land of Egypt. 39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor. 40 At that time the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev in the land of Canaan, heard the Israelites were coming. 41 They traveled from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. 42 They traveled from Zalmonah and camped at Punon. 43 They traveled from Punon and camped at Oboth. 44 They traveled from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim on the border of Moab. 45 They traveled from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad. 46 They traveled from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. 47 They traveled from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the Abarim range facing Nebo. 48 They traveled from the Abarim range and camped on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. 49 They camped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth to the Acacia Meadow on the plains of Moab. 50 The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, 51 “Tell the Israelites: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, destroy all their stone images and cast images, and demolish all their high places. 53 You are to take possession of the land and settle in it because I have given you the land to possess. 54 You are to receive the land as an inheritance by lot according to your clans. Increase the inheritance for a large clan and decrease it for a small one. Whatever place the lot indicates for someone will be his. You will receive an inheritance according to your ancestral tribes. 55 But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those you allow to remain will become barbs for your eyes and thorns for your sides; they will harass you in the land where you will live. 56 And what I had planned to do to them, I will do to you.” 1 The Lord spoke to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, it will be allotted to you as an inheritance with these borders: 3 Your southern side will be from the Wilderness of Zin along the boundary of Edom. Your southern border on the east will begin at the east end of the Dead Sea. 4 Your border will turn south of the Scorpions’ Ascent, proceed to Zin, and end south of Kadesh-barnea. It will go to Hazar-addar and proceed to Azmon. 5 The border will turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, where it will end at the Mediterranean Sea. 6 Your western border will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea; this will be your western border. 7 This will be your northern border: From the Mediterranean Sea draw a line to Mount Hor; 8 from Mount Hor draw a line to the entrance of Hamath, and the border will reach Zedad. 9 Then the border will go to Ziphron and end at Hazar-enan. This will be your northern border. 10 For your eastern border, draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 The border will go down from Shepham to Riblah east of Ain. It will continue down and reach the eastern slope of the Sea of Chinnereth. 12 Then the border will go down to the Jordan and end at the Dead Sea. This will be your land defined by its borders on all sides.” 13 So Moses commanded the Israelites, “This is the land you are to receive by lot as an inheritance, which the Lord commanded to be given to the nine and a half tribes. 14 For the tribe of Reuben’s descendants and the tribe of Gad’s descendants have received their inheritance according to their ancestral families, and half the tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance. 15 The two and a half tribes have received their inheritance across the Jordan east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.” 16 The Lord spoke to Moses, 17 “These are the names of the men who are to distribute the land as an inheritance for you: the priest Eleazar and Joshua son of Nun. 18 Take one leader from each tribe to distribute the land. 19 These are the names of the men: Caleb son of Jephunneh from the tribe of Judah; 20 Shemuel son of Ammihud from the tribe of Simeon’s descendants; 21 Elidad son of Chislon from the tribe of Benjamin; 22 Bukki son of Jogli, a leader from the tribe of Dan’s descendants; 23 from the sons of Joseph: Hanniel son of Ephod, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh’s descendants, 24 Kemuel son of Shiphtan, a leader from the tribe of Ephraim’s descendants; 25 Eli-zaphan son of Parnach, a leader from the tribe of Zebulun’s descendants; 26 Paltiel son of Azzan, a leader from the tribe of Issachar’s descendants; 27 Ahihud son of Shelomi, a leader from the tribe of Asher’s descendants; 28 Pedahel son of Ammihud, a leader from the tribe of Naphtali’s descendants.” 29 These are the ones the Lord commanded to distribute the inheritance to the Israelites in the land of Canaan.
Matthew 4 (CSB)
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will give his angels orders concerning you, and they will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” 7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and began to serve him. 12 When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, along the road by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 16 The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. 17 From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 18 As he was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter), and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, preparing their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 23 Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 Then the news about him spread throughout Syria. So they brought to him all those who were afflicted, those suffering from various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics. And he healed them. 25 Large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.