February 23

Bible Reading: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)

Satan quoted these verses when tempting Jesus to hurl Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5-6). Don’t be surprised by Satan’s quoting of the Scripture, as Shakespeare said, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purposes.” Just as Satan’s ministers twist the Scriptures to their own destruction, not to mention to the destruction of others (2 Corinthians 11:15; 2 Peter 3:16), Satan also masterfully misrepresents God’s Word in his sly attempts to manipulate men into doing his bidding rather than God’s.

The devil is forever misapplying the promises of God in hopes of getting people to act presumptuously. If he can get you to misapply God’s Word and to presume upon God on the basis of your misinterpretation, then he’ll attempt to persuade you that God has failed you once your leap from the pinnacle results in you hitting the ground. Lying there hurting from your foolish presumption, the imps of Hell will dance around you while the devil himself brazenly declares that your scripturally unsolicited actions have discredited God’s divinely inspired Word.

Many a deceived soul has been forfeited as a result of falling for the master of deceptions misinterpretations and misapplications of sacred Scripture. Innumerable multitudes have erroneously concluded that God’s Word is neither trustworthy or true, due to their being duped by the devil into leaping off pinnacles from which God’s Word never instructed them to leap. Still, in spite of the fact that they have transgressed the Scripture by tempting God (Matthew 4:7), these Apollyon-played pinnacle leapers dismiss the Scripture they’ve miscued for not producing what it never promised, but what they mistakenly presumed.

“Do not mistake presumption for faith. Faith must have the clear statement of God. Presumption is content to assume things that it supposes God might be or do, but it does so without [a] clear word [from] God concerning it.” (Art B. Neuenschwander)