Summary: Today we will examine the petition for our protection against the flesh, the world and the devil.
The model prayer is broken into two parts; that which is God-ward, and that which is Us-ward.
- The God-ward portion is focused on God’s holiness, His kingdom, and His will.
- The Us-ward portion can be further subdivided: Daily Bread - Forgiveness - Deliverance
We have noted that these deal with past (forgiveness), present (bread), future (deliverance).
Thesis: Today we will examine the petition for our protection against the flesh, the world and the devil.
Exegesis: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
+ I do not believe this is two petitions, but one petition in two parts.
It has the qualities of a Hebrew parallelism, which is seen often in the Proverbs (Jesus is Jewish).
A parallelism is a linguistic tool that is meant to reinforce ideas.
There are various types of parallelisms, two being:
Synonymous Parallelism - Says the same thing in two different ways
Prov 19:5 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.”
Prov 18:6 “A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.”
Antithetical Parallelism - Says two things which oppose one another
Prov 10:1 “A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.”
Prov 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”
The antithetical is often denoted by the adversative “but”
The phrase “lead us not - BUT - deliver us from” is connecting this petition as one idea.
So this is not two petitions, but one (bringing the petitions to six: 3 God-ward, 3 Us-ward)
+ Lead us not into temptation
Lead us means to bring us (most often translated “bring”)
The same idea here is used of Jesus when He was led into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1).
The negative “not” is the petition that we not be brought into this thing.
Temptation - This word requires a bit of understanding
The Greek word peirasmo/n is a “neutral” word
It can be positive or negative depending upon the context.
It can mean “temptation” or “test” or “trial” depending on how it is used.
A test can be a positive thing
Genesis 22:1 God tested Abraham (KJV renders it “tempt”; Gr. Sept. is same word)
A test will often be accompanied by temptation, if nothing else the temptation to give up
MacArthur is convinced the word means trial.
This is the way it is used in James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
A trial offers us an opportunity for great blessing AND great failure.
So the idea is “God, lead me not into places wherein I will experience great failure.”
NOTE: We must understand is that God does not tempt us to sin.
James 1:13 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
But God does test us; and this is a prayer of protection from failure.
QUOTE: Brian Schwertely said this petition is asking ”God to not bring us into a trial that our level of Christian maturity would be unable to handle”
We are saying, Lord, I need you to keep me from these things….
Lead me not with Joseph to the room of Potipher’s adulterous wife.
Lead me not with David to the rooftop view of the bathing Bathsheba,
Lead me not with Peter to a persecuting courtyard demanding I deny Christ.
Lead me not anywhere I will have an an occasion for moral failure!
+ Deliver us from evil
Deliver us means to rescue us
We have asked to be kept from temptation, but now we are asking for rescue
This assumes there will be times when we will be face with temptation and need to escape
Evil is somewhat of an interesting word (Gr. touv ponhrouv Lit. “the evil”)
Because of the article, some translate this as the personalization of evil (i.e. the evil one)
The word “one” is included by some translators, but is not there (lit. would be “the evil”).
Some would argue that Satan is the source of evil, so this could be referencing him.
This is where I believe the parallelism comes into play.
“The Evil” is being compared to “Temptation” in this parallel.
We are asking to be not be brought into temptation and to be rescued from evil.
Question: Is the devil in view at all here? YES; as he is the instigator of our evil.
But I do not think the devil is the ONLY thing in view here.
There are three great enemies of the soul: Flesh, World, Devil.