Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Does God Tempt Us? (James 1:13, 14)

“Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” James 1:13, 14 (NAS)

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham.” Genesis 22:1 (KJV)

Okay...so what’s up?

Satan came to steal, kill and destroy! (John 10:10)  This is his only purpose!  He tempts us and tricks us and deceives us to cause us to sin.

God doesn’t work that way. 

The Hebrew word “nissah” is used in our Genesis verse as “tempt”.  It means “to try; prove; put to the test”.  Which is what the Greek word “peirazo” means here in James for “tempted”. 

James is saying, “Let no one who is tempted (to sin) say that he is tempted of God.”  God does not tempt anyone to sin, but as we saw in previous verses of James 1 (here and here) He brings us trials and experiences to prove our faith and create confidence in the Lord and in our standing with Him.  We need testing experiences. This brings us to the Greek word for “experience” which is “peira” –the noun form from which the verb “peirazo” comes from.

The Geneva Bible writes Genesis 22:1 as, “God did prove Abraham.”

We have to distinguish who the one who is doing the "tempting" is!

If it’s Satan—the purpose is to tempt us to fall.
If it’s God—the purpose is to prove our progress.

Hope this helps...

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Click here for the other posts from my study of the book of James
I am joining The Good Morning Girls as we study James together.