The Lord's Prayer
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Our Father, which is in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others their trespasses against us. Lead us not into temptation.
What does that mean when we ask the Lord to not lead us into temptation? God doesn't tempt people. The Bible says in James 1:13 & 14, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
God never contradicts Himself, though there are plenty of places in the Bible where He appears to do that very thing. When we see what looks like a contradiction, it is actually just an invitation to dig deeper and find out what God really means, because He wants to make a very important point.
When we ask the Lord to not lead us into temptation, basically it just means that we are asking Him to not permit us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist.
There are times when God leads us into places where there is a lot of temptation, but He would never do it if we couldn't handle it. A case in point is if God were to lead a Christian to go to a bar. Would God do that? Yes, He would, if there was someone in there who needed to be hauled out of it, or if there was someone there who had reached a crucial point where they would listen right at that moment to someone speak to them about God.
We have to be pretty careful with that and make sure that we really heard God, especially if we have ever had a problem with alcohol. Even without that in our past, there are still other pitfalls that could entrap us, so go cautiously. It is probably a good idea to not go to a bar without a Christian with strong faith at our side, when God sends us to one on a mission.
Sometimes God leads us to take a job in a certain company, and the job is good for us for a while, but it could become a trap if we stayed there too long. We could work there for maybe five or ten years, and everything is just hunky dory, until a new person is hired, or someone is promoted above us, and their control issues become more than what we can handle. If we find them pulling us their way with unethical expectations, and not responding to our attempts to draw them over to doing what is right, we better get out of there quick. The financial and social benefits are not worth what it could do to our character to remain any longer.
God led the Israelites to Egypt. It was a nation that worshipped idols, but at that time, it was also a nation that was grateful to a God–honouring Hebrew for having saved them from famine, and had proved himself an honourable man and an able administrator in many other areas, as well. Because of Joseph, there was favour upon the Israelites when they went into Egypt.
God left the Israelites in Egypt only for as long as it took for the Canaanites to fill up their cup of sin to the full. When they reached that point, God's patience with them came to an end. Then they had to forfeit their lives and their land. He did not pass that judgement on them without having given them plenty of instruction about changing their direction and chances to do so. It was now time for the Israelites to go forth and inherit the land that God promised Abraham that He would give to Isaac's descendents.
God's purposes in Egypt for the Israelites also came to a finish. Not only did it provide a place for the Israelites to survive until they came into their own inheritance, but it also became a furnace of affliction to purge them and display God's faithfulness, as well as a tableau for His power when He delivered them.
At first, the Israelites lived in relative peace, protected by favour. Joseph built a Syrian–style mansion for his father in a village that was called Rowarty. The village was built on mounds within the marshes of the Nile delta. The grass was green and lush in that area for grazing herds and flocks.
Jacob's sons built homes for their families in the village, as well. After Jacob's death, Joseph tore down his father's mansion and built a palace to retire in on top of its foundation, with two, separated living areas in the front for his sons and their families. His tomb and the tombs of his brothers were located in his backyard.
The Israelites were isolated from the noisy cities with their temples and idols and citizens who would have expected the Israelites to conform to their expectations. The Israelites were able to retain their culture within their enclave.
Eventually, the Hebrews became so numerous that they had to fan out and occupy other places. Moses' family lived along the Nile. By the time he was born, Egypt wasn't such a great place for the Israelites to live. The Egyptians envied how much they were prospering. The kings who had known Joseph, and kept their people in check against persecuting the Israelites, were no longer on the throne.
The crown had passed on to another line that oppressed the Israelites, probably by taxing them, conscripting them for labour, and not giving them justice in the courts against thefts, assaults, rapes, maiming, murders, and anything else that bullies felt like perpetrating on the Israelites. The rulers worried that the Israelites might seek political advantage by siding with their enemies when they went to war.
Also, though it is not mentioned in the Bible, the chief scribe knew from reading Hebrew writings that the Israelites expected to leave Egypt in another generation, according to how long God told Abraham that his descendents would live in Egypt. He deduced, or it was prophesied, that a deliverer was going to be born soon. By killing all the male babies, the Egyptians aimed to kill the deliverer.
Egypt became for the Israelites like what Nazi Germany was to them at a later date. Homes were broken into and male newborns were torn out of their mother's arms, and thrown into the Nile as a sacrifice to the gods of the river. Families who were caught hiding their babies were executed.
This went on until one day when Thermuthis, Pharoah's daughter, was showing her father the little Hebrew boy she had adopted that she wanted to be his heir, and the chief scribe suddenly realized that this child was the deliverer. He tried to kill Moses, but the princess, who was also a queen as she was married to another Pharoah, would not let him. In those days, Egypt was like ancient Britain. It was comprised of several united kingdoms, each with their own king. The Hebrews mainly lived in the delta, which was Thermuthis's father's domain.
The Pharoah backed up his daughter, as he was very fond of her. Thermuthis told him that the child was extremely bright, and Moses was an incredibly handsome child, as well as very large and strong for his age. Pharoah likely was disappointed in his other possible heirs. He probably reasoned that, since they knew who the child was whom they had sought, and he was under their control, they could groom him to serve their purposes. It was decided that the slaughter of the infants may as well be called off. It had served to reduce the Hebrew male population, and the rulers did not want to lose the entire male workforce from that nation.
The babies were not slaughtered wholesale any more, but the Egyptian oppression became increasingly worse in other ways. The Israelites groaned and pleaded to the Lord for deliverance for another 77 years before it finally came. God did not let them be tempted beyond what they could endure.
What would they not have been able to endure? What would have turned even the most devout among them away from believing in God and serving Him? If they had remained in Egypt under the Hyksos kings.
The Hyksos were foreign invaders. They were the Amalekites who were cast out of their own land because of their great wickedness, who travelled through the wilderness during the plagues of Egypt. Actually, there were plagues all over the planet at that time; it was a global cataclysm that brought them on.
The land of Egypt was destroyed and the Amalekites took advantage of its vulnerability to invade it and set up a stronghold in Auaris for their empire. They became like the Caesars of that age, ruling many countries in the ancient world. More details are in The Moses Memoirs. The references for my information about the Israelites' soujourn in Egypt are there, as well.
The Amalekites were horrendously cruel, a tribe of psychotic killers who gloried in evil. They tortured and maimed and murdered just for the sheer fun of it. After all the cruelties the Israelites had suffered under the Egyptians, they likely would have given up all hope if their oppressors were replaced by even worse tyrants. God got them out of Egypt before they were tempted beyond what they could endure.
So there you have it. God may lead us into a potential hazard, because He has prepared a temporary place of shelter for us there, as well as a field of work that He wants us to engage in, but we need to leave when He says leave, even if it looks like everything is still okay and will continue to be so for a long time. Things can happen in a moment to change all that. If we stay longer, we might find ourselves giving into a temptation that will destroy us.
It might be a temptation that is so oppressing that we give up hope and stop trusting that God is good, or that He actually exists, or we might be assailed by a temptation so seductive that it causes us to choose the world and turn our back on God.
Asking God to not lead us into temptation is a petition for discernment, for wisdom to know what to do, where to go, and for strength to cast down all our idols that could cause His instructions to get distorted so that we hear our idols say, "Go," when God says "Stay," or the other way around.
Also, it is a petition for Him to close the doors that we should not go through, in the absence of a well–developed sense of discernment and ability to obey. This could cover a relationship, a job, an invitation, the offer of a gift, etc. When things we were hoping for don't come through, we should thank God in the situation, and let it go, if we sense that God does not want us to pursue it. It could be that God saved us from something really destructive by closing that door.
This part of the prayer is also a plea that God will develop in us a pure heart, because if one has a pure heart, their heart will not be inclined towards wanting opportunities to sin.
As mentioned before, we should keep in mind when praying the Lord's Prayer that we are not praying just for ourselves, but for all the other members in the body of the Anointed who are still living or are yet to come. God has given us this prayer not only to instruct us, but also to unite us together in the power of agreement, which brings down the enemy's strongholds.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.