Summary: We are often tempted to sin as well as tested in our faith. This part of the prayer is a reminder for the source of our power to overcome such temptations.
1. The saying, "Opportunity only knocks once," has been around for a long time. A recent caveat to this saying has been added, "but temptation bangs at the door constantly."
2. Matthew 6.13
4. Some of the answer to this petition is in our personal conduct
a. Temptation/Trial -- don't put ourselves into situations of testing
b. Evil -- resist -- 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. James 4.7-8
I. Origin of Evil
A. Atheist's Questions
1. If a God -- why is there evil in the world?
2. If God is good, where does evil come from?
B. Attempted Explanations
1. Ancient Persia --
a. Zoroastrianism -- 2 gods diametrically opposed to one another -- one good; the other evil
[Masonic Lodge -- Albert Pike in 19th Century -- "There are two gods, Jehovah and Lucifer -- we worship Lucifer"
b. Zoroastrianism looked forward to the victory of their good god and a 1000 year of peace and tranquility
2. Isaiah's view -- Isaiah 45.5-7
5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, 6 that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create woe [calamity; evil], I am the LORD, who does all these things.
a. Predicted Cyrus -- the Zoroastrian king would deliver the Hebrews from captivity and return to the Land -- 100 years before
b. Would show He was the only true God
1) Opposition to Zoroastrianism
2) Creator of good and evil -- hardened Pharaoh's heart; sent the lying spirit (Jehoshaphat and Ahab -- 2 Chronicles 18 -- Micaiah predicted their failure --
18 And MicaiŒah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left; 19 and the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.' And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' 21 And he said, 'I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go forth and do so.' 22 Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; the LORD has spoken evil concerning you." 18.18-22
3) Serves his purposes
4) Satan is evil but not a god
II. Problem of Evil
Have you heard about the guy who was trying to lose weight, but came to the office one day with two dozen donuts?
His co-workers asked him why he got the donuts if he was trying to lose weight. He answered, "I came to the corner where the donut shop was, I told God that if He wanted me to buy some donuts, He'd have to provide a parking spot right in front of the donut shop. Well, God answered my prayer. On the eighth time around the block, there it was!"
A. The Blame Game
1. As the atheist above -- Holocaust -- Why did God let this happen? -- Better question -- why did MAN let this happen?
1938 -- League of Nations met in Evian, France to discuss rescuing the European Jews. Adjourned deciding to do nothing -- 6 million of the 9 million Hitler killed were Jews.
2. Easy to blame God
[Recent holocausts -- Stalin -- 55 million; Cambodia; Sudan -- 80% voted to kill off the other 20% -- did we learn nothing from Hitler?
3. Christians do not want to blame God or themselves -- shift blame to Satan
a. Eve -- Genesis 3.13
b. Adam Worse -- Genesis 3.12 -- blamed God
B. Personal Responsibility -- Deuteronomy 30.15, 19
15 "See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.// 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live,