The Lord preserves

2 Timothy 4:18 - And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Just a few days back I received a mail from a brother on SavedByFaith.info subscription. He had received a mail from a Muslim friend questioning the Bible and one of the questions were 'God or Devil' pertaining to the two scriptures.

2 SAMUEL 24:1
1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Both scriptures are right and this you will understand in the prayer which Jesus Christ gave us, it has a line 'lead us not to temptation'. God does not tempt (in evil matters) but protects us from the temptations of Satan. If this protection is removed then Satan and this evil team gets a free hand to tempt us.

The same happened with Jesus, He was led by the Holy Spirit in the desert made bodily weak by fasting for forty days and was allowed to be tempted by Satan with the same three temptations which Adam and Eve faced. This was not because God was angry with Jesus but because God wanted us to learn from his Son how to overcome temptation by using the Word even when we are weak.

In 2 Samuel 24 God removed the protection which was on David and allowed him to be tempted which is to count his men. In this test David showed his lack of faith in God and got his men counted for satisfaction. He was warned by his follow colleague on this matter, yet David went ahead and was thus bought to punishment.

When we sin God sometimes gives us a second chance by testing us and this was what David went through and failed.

The wrong which David's men did is in the previous chapter 2 Samuel 23:15-17, where his men killed people unnecessarily. Even if they were his enemies they were created by God for a purpose to glorify God and killing them unnecessarily offended God. As leaders we are indirectly responsible to the doings of those under us. God had given David a chance to escape punishment by testing his faith.

What we see from this is that the Lord protects us and delivers us from evil (including temptation). The more we abide by the Lord and his Word the less we face evil. Though, sometimes we face temptations for testimony's sake, like Jesus. Knowing this Jesus asks us to pray to God to have mercy on us and to keep us from being allowed to be tempted, even when we disappoint Him.

[ Prayer Starter ]

Lord God, we are weak in body mind and spirit. You are our protector and deliverer. You protect us from all evil including temptation when your Face shines on us. Lord let you Hand be on us and your Countenance face us always...

We ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]

2 Samuel 23:15-17
15 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!
16 And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.
17 And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.

Matthew 6:13
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

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