Friday, August 10, 2012

Using God's Gifts As Weapons: Dr. Moore on the 3rd Temptation

The book that inspired our current series on the temptation of Jesus is Dr. Russell Moore's wonderful book, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ. Regarding next Sunday's temptation, the third temptation, Dr. Moore has the following to say:

When Eve, and then Adam, turned from the world of God to believing th word of Satan, they acted as though Satan could be the guarantor of their exaltation. They worshiped him. The nihilism of the fall wasn’t simply tat the primeval couple a from the wrong tree. They worshiped the wrong god and thus attacked the entire structure of the divine economy.

The further the Israelites went away from their merciful rescue from Egypt, the more they showed the same idolatrous instinct. The golden calf incident sums up perfectly the nihilism of human pride. The calf was made of gold, of course, but the Scripture insists that we acknowledge where this gold had come from in the first place. Aaron had taken up an offering of “the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters” (Ex. 32:2). Now where did these “rings of gold” come from? The Israelites had plundered this gold jewelry from their Egyptian taskmasters, right before their flight into the night (Ex. 12:35) They did so at the direction of the word fo God. And how did it come about? It was because “the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked” (Ex. 12:36).

The Israelites used the very gifts God had given them as a weapon against him, the height of entitlement and hubris. This was, of course, precisely what our first ancestors did as well. God created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He gave the vegetation to the man and woman to eat. They used the one as a means of insurrection and the other as a hiding place from communion with God. In their pride they’d forgotten they were creatures and subjects and sons and daughters. As the Israelites danced around the golden calf, and in every other instance of worshiping a thing rather than God, they showed they loved their kingdom more than their King. By offering praise to a crated thing made out of their own stuff, they were “rejoicing in the works of their hands” (Acts 7:41).

Satan was willing to give away his territorial rights to the kingdoms of this world partly because he knew he wouldn’t be giving up a kingdom but rather would be gaining another subject. Satan knew from millennia of experience that seeking the kingdom while rejecting the King means losing both
. -140-141

July 1, 2012 | Mark 1:1-15 - Make War: The Great Cosmic War & the Warrior Whose Already Won It 
July 8, 2012 | 1 John 2:15-17 - Gone Fishing: The Bait & Hook Strategy of Temptation  
July 15, 2012 | Luke 3:18-4:22 - Who's Your Daddy?: Our Christian Identity and the Nature of Temptation
July 22, 2012 | Matthew 4:1-4 - Hungry? Why Wait?: Learning to Feast When on a 40 Day Fast
August 8, 2012 | Matthew 4:5-7 - Don't Jump: Why the Gospel is Greater Than Self-Vindication

For more:
GBC - "Tempted and Tried": A Review
GBC - Trip Lee "War" (lyrics)
GBC - Brad Stine on Fishing and Fishermen
GBC - "Make War!": Piper's Call To Fight Sin
Sermon - December 20., 2009 - Worship the King:  The Folly of Misplaced Allegiance 
Sermon - November 22, 2009 - Self-Control in the Face of Temptation
GBC - Still Surviving The Storm

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