Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Second Temptation

Devon and I were reading through Psalms for our family scripture study. I read ahead a little and ran into two verses that struck me.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
(Psalms 91:11-12)
This was the scripture that Satan quoted to Christ to try to get Him to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, trying to get Him to test this promise. (Matthew 4:5-7) The interesting thing is, when Satan was quoting these verses he left out the phrase “to keep thee in all thy ways” in order to make it apply to falls from high places. But when you read these verses in full, you realize that it wasn’t meant to mean falling from high places at all. (unless it is in a spiritual sense) It was meant to show that angels would come to Christ from time to time to teach Him and warn Him just as He was about to make a mistake. The stone that He might dash his foot against was meant to represent a tricky place where He could mess up. This lest He stumble and err and defile His perfect purity and thereby ruin the chances of salvation for the rest of God’s children.

We know of a few angels that visited Jesus during his ministry – Moses and Elias (Matthew 17:3) and the angel that came to strengthen him in Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).

Then the next verse is fascinating too.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
(Psalms 91:31)
The lion symbolizes violence, and the adder and dragon symbolize subtleness, sneakiness, and deception. All aspects of Satan. This verse testifies of how Christ would totally reject violence and sneakiness of all sorts in his life and how he will eliminate them when he comes again.