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Does God arrange our temptations?
The word arrange is defined as “to put into a proper order or into a correct or suitable sequence, relationship, or adjustment” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
God does not “arrange” temptations in the sense of being the one who brings temptation before us. James 1:13 says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
God does “allow,” with certain conditions, Satan to tempt mankind. Job 1:6-12 says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
This is also what happened to David in the matter of numbering the people of Israel. 2 Samuel 24:1-3 says, "And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?” The Bible tells us that it was God allowing Satan, as He did with Job, to tempt David. 1 Chronicles 21:1-3 says, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?”
God always makes a way for us to escape temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
When we fall to temptation, the problem is with us, not with God. Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” When we fall to temptation, we are giving in to the weakness of our flesh. Sometimes people complain that they faced temptation, and they could not find a way to escape. The problem is that the flesh does not want to find the way of escape. James 1:14-15 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
How much better to start out the day praying that God would keep us from temptation, rather than finding ourselves in the middle of a temptation, and then trying to find a way to escape. How much better to be told, “Do not go down that path, for a lion is loose down there!” rather than go down that path, and be confronted with the lion, and then frantically try and find a way to escape. The same holds true with temptation. Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
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