“Experts” claim that dogs live in the present, always in the now. They don’t ruminate over the past or contemplate the future. Perhaps that is why they generally appear to be happy and forgiving. Buddy’s elation at my return home tonight certainly brought me great joy. (Or maybe he was gleefully greeting the piece of chicken I had hidden in my hoodie pocket for him.)
For some reason I have never heard a sermon on Psalm 2, although there is quite a lot of great stuff in the 12 verses. Jesus does not quote from this Psalm when resisting the devil’s second temptation in the wilderness before He began His earthly ministry, but it likely assisted Him.
“He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.'”–Psalm 2:7-8
Satan showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time (Luke 3:5)”, claiming that he had the authority to give its treasure and glory to anyone he wished. He offered Jesus a quick and easy to claim “the very ends of the earth as (His) “inheritance” by bowing down and worshipping himself, Satan, instead of dying an agonizing and humiliating death on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity. Satan wanted Jesus to claim the world by disobeying God the Father.
This is really what Satan is all about: tempting us to get what we want the easy way, by disobeying God, instead of being patient and obtaining our goals or treasures the hard, slow and, often, not so glamorous route.
But God wants us to trust His instructions in the Bible, His word over the ways our culture tempts us to take the quick and easy route to success, wealth, fame or influence.
Jesus announced in the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth that He was the Messiah, quoting from the book of Isaiah (Luke 4:16-21) shortly after successfully passing Satan’s temptations. He knew that He was the begotten Son of God described in Psalm 2. And the Father had promised the Son that He “SURELY” would give Him the nations and the very ends of the earth as His possession. The Father had already promised the world to Him. There was no doubt what God had said in Psalm 2.
The Cross was the hard way, but Jesus looked ahead into the future, past the suffering at the Cross, down the road ahead, instead of focusing on His present need. (He was exhausted from 40 days of fasting and famished.) He visualized the many millions who would be brought into relationship with God and be given eternal life, resurrected from spiritual death through His blood.
“…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…”–Hebrews 4:2
Jesus kept His focus on God’s promises to give Him the world as His inheritance and many souls. He kept it on “the joy” beyond the Cross, the results of His obedience–on what He could not presently see but was promised.
The way to resist temptation is to look ahead to the fulfillment of God’s promises, to trust Him to bless you–and me–if we strive to accomplish our goals His way, refusing Satan’s shortcuts.
And believe me, I am not claiming to be faultless. I need to remind myself daily of God’s promises so that I can stand strong against the “schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11)”. These posts exist because these are things I need to think about myself.
I’m trying to shorten up my blog posts. I know you have a life. Thank you very much for reading and, also, for enjoying the photos of my beloved Buddy. I hope that these posts are beneficial to you in some way.
And if you don’t have a Buddy in your own life, there is a great God Who is just waiting to be invited into your life, if you’re willing, to be your best friend.
“Behold, I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”–Revelation 3:20
Love from Dawn and Buddy