Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. (Psalm 2:8)
Relate: Right at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus went out to the desert to fast and pray. After forty days of this the devil came to Him and tried to tempt Jesus. The first time he went after the physical needs. Jesus was, obviously, a wee bit hungry so the evil one dared Him to turn stones into bread. For the second (in Luke) or third (in Matthew) temptation the devil took him up a mountain. He showed Jesus all the nations of all the world and said, “All this I will give you if…”
Wait a minute, stop the truck, and back up. Imagine being in third grade. Its right after Christmas and you’re bringing your favorite present in to school that daddy gave you a couple weeks back. You left it on your desk when the class bully steals it and starts playing with it. You go over to get it back and this bully says, “I will give this to you if…”
Wait a minute, stop the truck, and back up. That little devil can’t give you what is already yours. It’s time to call the Teacher. It’s time to get on the phone with Daddy. This bully might have something in his possession but he had no authority to “give” it to anyone.
React: I’ve heard arguments about why the devil had the right to offer these kingdoms to Jesus. I’ve even given them myself. It goes something like, God gave man authority over the earth, through the fall we handed it over to the devil who is now the prince of the powers of the air and all that jazz. Last time I checked my medieval dictionary it is kings who rule, not princes. The devil might think he has rights over these kingdoms but that’s only because he has stolen temporary possession. The only rights a thief has is to be caught and punished. A prince playing at being king is nothing more than a usurping traitor.
The King of Kings has offered the nations of the world to the true Prince of Peace. He alone, unlike that upstart bully in the wilderness, truly has the authority to make that offer. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God. Jesus rules. End of story.
God, help me not to fall for the devil’s con. Help me to recognize the fact that all true things come only from You. You are the King. You are the only one with rightful authority. Anyone claiming any power outside You is only a bully stealing temporary possession. Help me not to fall for the devil’s con and certainly help me to avoid playing it myself by stealing that which only belongs to You.