The place of Christ’s temptation was “the wilderness.” Our Lord was already upon the border of the wilderness of Judea: but it was necessary that He should be led deeper into its remoteness and solitude-a depth so profound and desolate, that one of the Evangelists records the fact that He was “with the wild beasts,” far removed from the abode and intercourse of man. The Son of God herding, as it were, with the brute creation-the companion of the untamed denizens of the forest!-O Thou glorious tempted One! to what abasement did Thou not submit, that, thus trained in the school of temptation, Thou might be one with Thy saints in theirs!
It is in this wilderness of the world we too find the scene of our temptation. The world itself is not the least successful agent of temptation employed by Satan to accomplish his hellish designs. The world is one of the greatest snares of the Christian. Its scenes-its grandeur-its show-its refinement-its friendship-its science-its pleasure-its wealth, its pomp-yea, its very religion, all conspire to give significance and force to the warnings of God’s Word:“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away.” “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed.”
But, apart from the world itself there is nothing in our individual history which Satan may not make the occasion and instrument of a temptation. Our social position in the world may be one of peculiar snare; our calling in life especially so: our sore trials, crushing afflictions, and pressing needs all may furnish ample material for the purpose and devices of the Enemy. Yea, there is nothing that may not be an instrument of sore temptation-our poverty and wealth; our exalted position and our low estate; the publicity, the privacy of our life; our loves and hatreds, friends and foes may all become powerful engines of evil in the hands of our great, terrible, powerful, and unslumbering Enemy. The books we read-the literature we cultivate-the science we pursue-the recreations we indulge;-yea, the very religions we profess, and the Christian serviced we promote,-may, with all their apparent innocence and sanctity, but conceal from our eye the slimy trail and the deadly venom of the serpent!
Then,“let us not be ignorant of Satan’s devices.”