The very first temptation involved the besmirching of God's character. Of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan said to Eve, "God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). The devil implied that the Lord withheld something beneficial from the man and the woman, and thus slandered the Divine character of perfect love and goodness.
Boil every temptation down to its wicked essence, and the implication remains, "God unfairly acts and decrees. Thus, He is not perfectly good." From Eden on, the slander continues as our spiritual enemies seek to sully the reputation of our Creator. Moreover, from Eden on, the law of sin in the hearts of the lost and the flesh of the redeemed responds to the lie. Regarding the latter, namely, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, demonic influences rage against God's perfection no less than they seek to perpetuate the lie in unbelievers. Through people, circumstances, conditions, and situations, Satan seeks to discourage believers from a vibrant walk with our Lord through fomenting unrest in our thoughts, emotions, and even physical sensations. Our enemy cannot steal our grace-originated and maintained relationship with God through the Lord Jesus. He can and does tempt us, however, to limit the wonder and glory of such blessedness by raising questions concerning the goodness of God in specific aspects of our lives.
Our first and primary response to this must be doctrinal. No truth of Scripture more demands our allegiance and complete devotion than the affirmation and confession of, "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). This perfect way proceeds from a perfect character and nature. Our God is of such pristinely pure goodness that He "cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:13). We must build this altar within our hearts. We must forge this iron determination upon our minds. We must commit to let no uncertainty regarding the goodness of God escape our lips. Certainly we do not always understand our Heavenly Father's ways, many of which are so above our capacity of understanding that we will at times find ourselves bewildered and perplexed. We must nevertheless refuse to succumb to any temptation that raises the slightest doubt in our hearts concerning the perfection of the Lord's character, nature, and way. Nor can we allow any doctrinal deception to accompany our beliefs that implies in any way, shape, or form that God is responsible for any devil or any man's sin. Perfect. Not good, or very good. Not even great, or very great. As for God, His way is perfect. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.
"He is the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are judgment. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He."
"The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works."
Weekly Memory Verse
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
(II Peter 1:2)