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Christ in the Psalms: The Psalm of the Temptation—Psalm 91

Notes & Transcripts

The first great event in the life of our Savior was his incarnation when the Holy Spirit overshadowed a young Jewish peasant girl from Nazareth and she supernaturally conceived a child. This event is hinted at in the 40th Psalm when King David writes: “ ... Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.” The incarnation represents our belief that Jesus, who is the second person of the trinity, took on a human body and human nature and became both man and God. In the Bible its clearest teaching is in John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."

From Genesis through Malachi, the Old Testament foretells that Christ would come into the world. This is why Jesus tells the Jewish leaders: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,” (John 5:39, NIV84). After Christ’s ascension, this is exactly what the Apostle did–they studied the Scriptures because they testified about the life and ministry of Jesus. One of their primary sources for information about the life of The Anointed One was the Psalms.

This morning I want us to look at a second Psalm that describes the second great event in the life of our Savior–His temptation in the Wilderness of Judah.

As most of you know, immediately following his baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness under the Holy Spirit’s leadership. During that time, he devoted himself to prayer and fasting. It was time spent in close fellowship with his heavenly father. It was also during this time that, I believe, Jesus received his marching orders from God as to the shape and scope of his earthly ministry.

I think Jesus had to decide on the answers to some important questions:

The questions you and I face are similar to the ones faced by Jesus. Each of us knows that, like our Lord Jesus, we have options in this life. How do we choose correctly? I would submit to you this morning that our Lord’s method needs to be our method. Fasting, prayer, and an unwavering commitment to God’s Word, are the key ingredients to finding God’s will for our lives, and defeating the world, the flesh, and the devil.

In the midst of seeking God’s will, our enemy the devil, will attempt to throw a wrench into the gearbox of our lives. Satan will always attempt to turn times of decision to his advantage. He tried to divert Jesus’ ministry down an unsatisfactory route. The devil came to a tired, hungry Jesus and attempted to persuade him that meeting his own needs must be a priority. These temptations remain appealing.

The 91st Psalm is another Psalm where we see Jesus. It is frequently referred to as the Psalm of the Temptation since verses 11 and 12 are quoted in the New Testament during our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness. And irony of ironies, it is the devil who quotes these very verses to Jesus! Though only two verses of the Psalm are quoted, I believe the entire Psalm is a messianic Psalm.

In it we find that some significant clues as to how we may defeat the temptations that come our way.

There are, I believe three important applications for us in this Psalm of the Temptation.

In an insecure world, where temptations abound, God offers us a secure place in Him.

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