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July 21, 2011

Jesus and the Psalms

Part One

The Temptation of Jesus and The Psalms

Matthew 4:6

      The Book of Psalms in our English Bible actually may be subdivided into five separate Books of Psalms.  Book One: Psalms 1-41 (mostly written by David describing the glory and power of God); Book Two: Psalms 42-72 (mostly praise and worship songs, written mostly for Tabernacle and Temple worship by David, Korah, and one by Solomon); Book Three: Psalms 73-89 (Asaph and other writers wrote many of these Psalms for use in the great congregation as they worshipped before God with the temple singers employing many of these Psalms); Book Four: Psalms 90-106 (Moses wrote Psalm 90, but the rest are anonymous–these Psalms praise God for His mighty acts with Israel and lift praise and worship to the Covenant God of Israel); Book Five: Psalms 107-150 (David, Solomon and anonymous writers composed these Psalms which focus upon the future, and the glories of living under God’s leading).  Jesus often quoted the Psalms, and we will look at some of the Psalms mentioned in the Life of Jesus. 

and [the devil] said to Him [Jesus], ‘If you are the Son  of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, “HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU” and “ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'”

Matthew 4:6

      Satan Quotes Scripture Too.  Some of my friends were surprised when I told them that Satan knows the words of the Bible, and quotes them.  In Matthew 4,  we read about the temptation of Jesus by Satan.  As part of the temptation, Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem.  There, Satan challenged Jesus to throw Himself down, and quoted Scripture to Jesus.  Satan may have thought that either Jesus would tempt God, or the Scripture would not be true if Jesus died there by falling.  Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 (in all capital letters above) to Jesus to back up his claim that God would deliver Jesus.  We should learn a huge lesson here: Satan can quote the Bible, and Satan seeks to interpret the Bible and apply the Bible to our lives.  But, when Satan applies the Bible to your life, he wants to destroy your life and for you to die in sin.  So, just because someone quotes the Bible to you, be very careful to compare Scripture with Scripture, and be sure that Satan does not mislead you in the guise of a “Bible Teacher.”

Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'” 

Matthew 4:7

     Jesus Rightly Divides the Word of God.   Jesus quoted the Scriptures to respond to Satan’s misuse of Scripture.  Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:16 (all capital letters above).  In Deuteronomy 6:16,  we read that the people of Israel tested God at a place called Massah.  In Exodus 17:1-7, the people of Israel thirsted and demanded that God give them water.  They rebelled against God and doubted God’s presence among them, in spite of all God had done for them in delivering them from Egypt.  God brought water from a rock after Moses struck the rock.  Jesus makes the point to Satan, and to us, that God alone leads us and delivers us.  We cannot use the promises of God to do our will, but we must rely upon God’s promises to do God’s will.  Satan tempted Jesus to cast Himself down, and by doing so, to elevate Satan’s will over the will of God.  Satan always wants to use the Word of God so that you will do Satan’s will in your life.  When we read the Psalms, or any other book in the Bible, please be sure that Satan wants to apply the Bible to your life for his purposes.  Listen to Jesus, submit to Jesus, compare Scripture with Scripture, and resist the temptations of Satan by the power of Christ and His word.  Satan will flee from you as you resist him in Christ and submit only to Christ (James 4:7).  When you compare Scripture with Scripture, and trust God to help you accurately handle the the Word of God, Jesus will help you to understand and apply the Scripture so that you may live for Him (2 Timothy 2:15).      

So we learn more about Jesus and the Psalms today.

   ●  Satan tempts believers by quoting the Bible, and then wrongly applying the Bible to lead people away from Jesus Christ. 

   ●  Jesus wrote the Bible, and knows how to apply the Word of God to your life every day, so that you will not tempt God by demanding that God fulfill His promises to suit your own desires.

   ●  We read the Bible to learn more about Jesus, and the ways of God.  Living in Jesus means that we obey His commands and live in the power of the Holy Spirit every day.

Application for Today

        As I live today, I will listen to Jesus quoting the Bible and applying His Word to my life.  I will resist the devil, even when he quotes the Bible to mislead me.  Will you be listening to Jesus today as He applies the Scriptures to your life so that you will love Him more?


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