The Greek word can mean
(a) solicitation to do evil, or,
(b) a test designed to prove one's character.
Greek Lexicon Notes
peirasmos: An experiment, attempt, trial, proving trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Galatians. 4:14) the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances an internal temptation to sin of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand of the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one's character, faith, holiness temptation (i.e. trial) of God by men rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves.
Also, to try whether a thing can be done to attempt, endeavour to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself in a good sense in a bad sense, to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments to try or test one's faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin to solicit to sin, to tempt of the temptations of the devil after the OT usage of God: to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith men are said to tempt God by exhibitions of distrust, as though they wished to try whether he is not justly distrusted by impious or wicked conduct to test God's justice and patience, and to challenge him, as it were to give proof of his perfections.
We are often blind to our own faults and quick to blame others for defects in ourselves! In Psychology this mechanism is called Projection. it's a biggie!
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5)
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.“ (Matthew 10:27-31)
"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:3-5)
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13)
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted (apeirastos) by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
[exelko: to draw out, metaph. to lure forth: in hunting and fishing as game is lured from its hiding place, so man by lure is allured from the safety of self-restraint to sin. In the language of the hunting is transferred to the seduction of a harlot. deleazo: to bait, catch by a bait, metaph. to beguile by blandishments, allure, entice, deceive.]
Do not be deceived, (led astray) my beloved brethren. Every good gift (every act of giving) and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (Astronomy: no parallax, no eclipsing). Of His own will (having willed it) He brought us forth (apokyeo: begat us again) by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (James 1:12-18)
Our actions in life today as fallen persons are mostly selfish and self-centered.
Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep...
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:7-18)
|The Enticement of Evil
Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll
Hiding in the Rock
What LSD Did for Me
How God Trains Us
The Ruthlessness of God
Man's Lost Dominion
The Anguish of Adam
Adam's Diary of Creation and the Fall
Made in the Image of God
The Theme of the Great Harlot
|The Consequence Engine
The Scars or Sin
Jezebel and Athaliah
A Realistic Approach to Attractions
Denial: Not a River in Egypt
The OT Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word peirasmos is nacah.
ָָה nâçâh, naw-saw'; a primitive root; to test; by implication, to attempt:—adventure, assay, prove, tempt, try.
TWOT Reference: 1373 KJV Translation Count — Total: 36x. The KJV translates Strong's H5254 in the following manner: prove (20x), tempt (12x), assay (2x), adventure (1x), try (1x). to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof or test.
nacah is used in Deuteronomy 8, which Jesus quoted when He was tempted…Israel-Jesus-Us is the model for God's successful testings today.
Deuteronomy 8:2-5 (NKJV) "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and TEST you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
Deuteronomy 8:11-17 (NKJV) “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might TEST you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
Thanks to Bryce Self.
A proof test is a form of stress test to demonstrate the fitness of a load-bearing structure. An individual proof test may apply only to the unit tested, or to its design in general for mass-produced items. (Wikipedia).
Why comes temptation but for man to meet
And master and make crouch beneath his feet,
And so be pedestaled in triumph? --Robert Browning
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created (James 1:12-18).
Life is temptation. It pursues us through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and senility–right up to the gates of heaven. It entices us at work and play. It intrudes into our thoughts and dreams, and even into our prayers. "Temptations to sin are sure to come," Jesus said.
God could have spared us from such enticement, but he has determined not to do so–for good reason: "God permits temptation to sin," said Augustine, "to transform it into greater good."
"Bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness," C. S, Lewis said. "They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse within us until we try to fight it..."
Temptation makes us aware of "the strength of the evil impulse within us," and reveals the fragile stuff of which we’re made. It humbles us. It makes us more reliant on God’s strength, and therefore less likely to yield.
James goes so far as to say we are "blessed" by temptation (the same word found in Jesus’ Beatitudes) for when we have persevered (resisted temptation) we will receive the "crown of life." James uses a word for crown that in his day referred to the olive wreath given to those who competed in the games and ran well. The crown of life is a winner’s crown given to one who has run life’s race, finished strong and is "pedestaled in triumph."
Though God allows temptation he is not the source of it, James assures us. "When tempted, no-one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
It is not in God’s nature to draw us into sin. No, we are the problem. As Pogo, that wise old possum put it, "We have met the enemy and he is us," We are tempted when we are "dragged away and enticed" by our own desires–our longings for something other than God, or something more than God has chosen to give us.
Sin begins with a bare thought. Then we allow our minds to fantasize–focus on the thought and embellish it. We linger over the fantasy; we feel the pleasure it initially bestows. Then we assent to it’s urges and act upon them, after which we taste sin’s lethal fruit–guilt, regret, sorrow, boredom, alienation, a hunger and weariness that has no cure. That’s how temptation "gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to (soul) death."
Later on, James will tell us that there is another dynamic at work: an evil personality behind all temptation (James 4:7). It is our adversary the devil who plays upon our pride and other sinful proclivities, who "baits" us, to use James’ exact word, hooks us and draws us into sin. Jesus described him as a "liar and a murderer" (John 8:44), a devious, homicidal maniac akin to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the psychiatrist turned psychopathic killer in The Silence of the Lambs. Lecter was called "Hannibal the Cannibal," because he ate his victims. Satan likewise is skulking about, "looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). He is a predator always on the prowl, hungry for flesh–and we are his prey.
Like most psychopaths, however, Satan is suave and charming. "He hath power to assume a pleasing shape," Hamlet said. He is a gentleman with civil manners and impeccable taste. He was high—born and therefore can insinuate himself into good company. He surrounds himself with beautiful people and makes their behavior–even deviant and dangerous behavior–look good to us. We read about their life—styles and "eat it up," as they say, not knowing that we are the ones who are about to be consumed. Satan is up to no good.
God, on the other hand, is nothing but good, and has nothing but good in mind for us: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." He is the creator of light–all that is good and true and beautiful–and the one who gives us light. There are no shadows or darkness in him, no double—dealing, no deceit, no duplicity. He is pure truth.
By means of truth God "chose to give us birth…that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created" (James 1:18). This is another way of saying that God’s purposes are wholly good. In contrast to Satan who wants to take life, God longs to give it. The "word of truth" is the means by which life was originally given and the means by which it is sustained and brought to completion. Through truth we become God’s "first—fruits–the cream of the crop, the crème de la crème, the very best that a man or woman can be.
How, then, can we avoid being taken in by Satan’s menace and deceit? By taking heed to God’s word. Here’s how it works.
Satan’s proposals always begin with a feint, a false lead, a lie, some subtle twist to the truth which, if acted upon, would tear us away from God and terminate us. His proposals rarely seem evil–our minds are repelled by obvious evil. More often they come in under the guise of good. Satan adds a tincture of grace and beauty to every lure lest we recognize its lethal toxicity. It’s so easy to be taken in.
We must meet every one of Satan’s lies with truth–meet it when it first enters our minds. Thomas à Kempis said, "Temptations are more easily overcome if they are never allowed to enter. Meet them at the door as soon as they knock, and do not let them in.
The way to fend off Satan is to meet him at the beginning before he gathers strength and overwhelms you. Meet him with a word from God and banish him, as you would dismiss some obnoxious traveling salesman, before he gets his foot in the door. Remind yourself of some word that God has given you that speaks to the particular lie Satan is advancing and submit yourself to that truth.
That was our Lord’s response to the devil’s temptations. Satan’s strategy was to taunt Jesus into disobedience, but with each assault, our Lord seized upon a specific text: "It is written…." In each case he countered Satan’s deceit with a corresponding truth and humbly submitted himself to it.
That’s what James calls "perseverance"–a dogged determination to pursue holiness when the conditions of holiness are not favorable. It is resisting the devil by recalling what God has asked you to do and determining by his grace to do it. It is the way to overcome the evil one. "One little word," says Luther, "will fell him."
I’m reminded of a Far Side cartoon I saw some years ago, depicting a woolly mammoth lying on it’s side dropped by a tiny arrow. Two awe—struck cave men stand side—by—side with bows in their hands, gaping at what they had done. "We’ve got to remember that spot," one says to the other.
Satan has a soft, unprotected underbelly: he is vulnerable to God’s Word. To that end we must give ourselves to knowing his Word, hiding it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11); meditating on it day and night (Psalm 1: 2); allowing it to "dwell in (us) richly" (Colossians 3:16). Satan’s power lies in deceit; our weapon is truth. "Our defense is sure."
According to Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus was trying to get home to his wife and kiddies and was having a hard time doing it. Along the way he encountered the enchanting and dangerous Circe whom, it was said, turned men into pigs.
When Odysseus successfully avoided her attractions, she confided in him that sterner tests lay ahead–the Sirens, those lusty, luscious maidens whose island lay along the straits and whose songs lured travelers away from hearth and home.
Circe advised Odysseus to have his men plug their ears with wax and tie himself to the mast. Odysseus, however, had another, better idea. He did have his men plug their ears and he did tie himself to a mast, but he also had his friend Orpheus, who was also an accomplished musician, sit on the deck and make a melody so sweet it would turn his heart away from the Sirens. In that way he "stood the test." He stayed his narrow course and made it home to his beloved Penelope.
So, when Satan begins to croon one of his alluring, fatal tunes, sing to yourself the lyrics of God’s Word, "sing and make music in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19). This is Paul’s "way of escape" (1 Corinthians 10:13). It’s the only way to get through. --David Roper
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
They are The Flesh, The World, and the Devil
Unmasking the Flesh
Then Came Amalek
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Revelation 3:20-21)
"For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need." (Hebrews 4:12-16)
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen,
who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:31-39)
Lambert Dolphin's Place
Lambert's Personal Testimony
Email Lambert Dolphin
Recent and Recovered Articles
November 8, 2020, April 2, 2021, June 6, 2021