God Exceeds His Promises: Satan Tries to Disguise the Desert

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
There is, however, another lesson which we may draw from this beautiful scripture. To this end, we must read it, for a little, in company with the temptation of the Lord (Matt. 4).
There the tempter takes Jesus to a high place, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory, and promises all to Him, if He will but worship him. Here, the Lord meets Moses in another high place, a similar exceeding lofty mountain, and shows him the inheritance of the chosen people, giving him a share in His own delight in such a prospect.
The material of the two occasions was very similar. But, morally, how different! It was the “present evil world,” or the world in its condition of apostasy from God, that the devil would have attracted Jesus by: it was “the world to come,” or the world in its condition of restoration to God, that the Lord delighted Moses with. The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, a place of neither beauty or fruitfulness; for such is the world in divine estimation. The tempter comes, and seeks to change the fashion of the place altogether. He would happily have proved the world to be no wilderness. He fills it with every delight and satisfaction, aiming to persuade the Son of God, that it was a beautiful and fruitful place. He would not allow the thought that it was a wilderness. Accordingly, he furnishes it to the eye and mind of Jesus, if he can, with pleasures, riches, and honors. He intimates that its stone might easily be made bread; that its mountains were points of view from whence all that the eye could covet might be commanded; and that its pinnacles, instead of being giddy and dangerous elevations, were avenues and ladders to fame and distinction. All this insinuating, that man need, by no means, in this world, find himself in a wilderness, but seated rather at a rich and varied banquet.
This was his attempt then. And what his way was then with Jesus, so has it been with us ever since. He would have us know, that it is all a mistake to eye this “present evil world” as a desert, for that there is in it plenty of food for the senses, riches and honor in abundance.
Is not this true? Is not “the god of this world” full of these promises, and “the course of this world” full of efforts to make these promises good? Are not experiments making, every day, to turn stones into bread, and a desert into Eden? The enemy must hide all he can the gloom and barreness of that world of which he is the god, and commend it to our admiration and desire.