TO CHEW ON: “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”’” Matthew 4:4
Here in overcoming temptation, Jesus gave us an example to follow and copy. He used scripture.
The Greek word for word used here: "... by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" is rhema.
Another Greek word the Bible uses for word is logos.
Logos is the expression of a thought, a message, a discourse. In addition to referring to written scripture, it is the word John used to describe Jesus Himself, God’s communication to us, in John 1:1,14.
Rhema is that which is said or spoken, an utterance, the communication of the message.
While logos is the Bible message in its entirety, rhema is a verse or passage from the Bible that has communicated to the hearer.
In countering temptation with scripture, Jesus used the word (rhema) in an Ephesians Christian armor way against Satan: “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word (rhema) of God” - Ephesians 6:17.
One of my favorite verses about dealing with temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Keeping in mind our word of God (rhema) weapon, doesn’t it make sense that one “way of escape” would be words of scripture, brought to mind by the Holy Spirit even as we’re in the thick of a battle with temptation? They are the sword thrusts we can use against Satan’s attempt to trap us in sin.
Of course we need to have some familiarity with God’s word for that to be possible. Memorization—and Google—to the rescue. Having a verse memorized and at our fingertips is the best. But often memory is faulty.
I don’t know how many times a few words from a verse come to mind, but I’m not sure exactly what it says or where it’s found. However, when I type what I do remember into a Google search, I have the whole verse and its reference in seconds. With modern technology we have no reason to be without our “it is written” rhema word weapon.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for You, the Word, and the logos of scripture which comes alive to me as rhema and is vital in overcoming temptation. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.