MATTHEW 4:5-7 NKJV Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him 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 shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
Satan is not ready to give up, and delivers his next attack on Jesus to see if any “foolishness” can be found in the life of our Lord. The Bible talks so much about being a fool and the consequences of foolishness that we should not be surprised that it is a major weapon in Satan’s arsenal. Regarding the process of child training, we are told in PROVERBS 22:15 NKJV Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. What exactly is this “foolishness” that has children bound and through diligent correction must be put far from him? God has given me a definition that seems to clarify what Satan was hoping to find in Jesus’ heart through the current temptation. Let us be reminded again at this point, that Jesus was not born into this world like all other children, but was born of a virgin. MATTHEW 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” The foolishness that was in the heart of all the children of Adam’s race was not in the Son of God.
I believe foolishness can be defined as “thinking you can do what God said not to do, without suffering the consequences”. The devil suggests that Jesus jump from this high place, which obviously would result in death unless God would send an angel to intervene. The devil adds his twisted version of the scripture to try and convince Jesus that it would be absolutely harmless to do this foolish thing. That is a major trick of Satan against the Child of God, he suggests that we can do what the Bible tells us clearly not to do and God will save us from the consequences because we are His children. Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, jump, your heavenly Father will catch you”.
Remember Eve, the Mother of all Living who became the Mother of all Dead because she listened to that lie, “You shall not surely die”. God had already told them the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit that it would cause death both spiritually and physically. Dear reader please be assured, what you sow you will reap, if you sow to the flesh you SHALL reap corruption, but if you sow to the spirit you SHALL reap life. Sowing to the Spirit is obeying the Word of God to the letter. Just think what Adam and Eve would have reaped if they had not listened to Satan and sowed to the flesh, but instead had sowed life in the earth. They would have reaped a race of spiritually alive descendants that loved and served God.
The devil wants to make you think that your status is above the penalty of sin and disobedience. When he said to Jesus “If you are the son of God” he was implying Jesus could break the rules because of who He was.
A lot of God’s people who have been blessed with success and influence have heard that same subtle deception and were hooked. The foolishness in their heart was drawn out and used to destroy them. Some have thought they could commit adultery without it catching up with them; others have embezzled funds and a host of other deeds that could be mentioned. Maybe it was just cheating on the income tax or some other item that didn’t seem all that important but nonetheless was an act of disobedience to the revealed Word of God. Friends, you cannot do what God said not to do, and escape the consequences. No matter how much you may have been used of God or what your particular position in life may be, God will not save you from the results of foolishness. PROVERBS 19:29 NKJV Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools.
The Old Testament gives us two examples of men in high positions who acted in foolishness against the command of God and were not spared the consequences. The first is King Saul who intruded into the office of the priest and offered burnt sacrifices because he became impatient waiting for Samuel to arrive and entreat the Lord for him. He was presumptuous to think that this violation of the law would be overlooked because he was the King. No sooner had Saul finished offering the sacrifice when Samuel arrived and had these chilling words to say in 1 SAMUEL 13:11-14 NKJV And Samuel said, “What have you done?”Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, 12 then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done FOOLISHLY. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 BUT NOW YOUR KINGDOM SHALL NOT CONTINUE. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Samuel actually tells Saul that what he did was an act of foolishness in vs. 13.
Another instance of foolishness in the life of a King in Israel that was very costly was that of David’s numbering the people of Israel. David was later to learn that God could “save by many or by few” and that how many fighting men he had was the wrong reason to be confident. We are also told in the New Testament not to put confidence in the flesh, that is, our own natural resources. God will deliver us no matter what the odds if our trust is in Him. Praise God! When David was convicted in his heart about this sin he immediately realized that the consequences would be grave. 2 SAMUEL 24:10-14 NKJV And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very FOOLISHLY.” 11 Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and tell David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ’ ” 13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.” 14 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
When David was offered his choice of CONSEQUENCES for the FOOLISHNESS of his heart, he did something very wise and left the choice up to the mercy of God. Notice that he was not exempt from the results of foolishness even though he was a man after God’s own heart.
How can we avoid falling into the same trap when Satan comes to see if there is any foolishness in our hearts? We can remember the words of Jesus “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. In other words, if God said not to do a certain thing, to do it would be tempting God. Tempting God to do what?; to take part in unrighteousness and injustice. JAMES 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
For God to overlook a disobedient act of foolishness would be an act of evil on His part, and that is impossible.
Paul tells those who have become believers not to continue in foolish talking, that is talking about doing things that God says not to do. EPHESIANS 5:3-4 NKJV But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
A few verses later Paul again exhorts these believers to walk in wisdom instead of being fools, EPHESIANS 5:15 NKJV See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise. That is good advice for all of us modern day Christians as well. To be wise is to know that doing what God says will always be in our best interest because He is a loving Father who only desires our highest good. Don’t tempt the Lord, trust Him instead.