A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

You Shall Not Put the Lord to the Test — But Abusers Love to

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” (Matthew 4:5-7)

A typical devilish tactic right out of the kingdom of darkness is tempting or testing the Lord. It is evil in many ways, and as the Lord Jesus told Satan by authority of Scripture, this sin is forbidden. Of course that was the whole thing Satan was up to there in the wilderness. Tempting the Lord.  “If you are….then…”.

You see the enemies of Christ doing the same thing repeatedly as recorded in the Gospels:

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. (Matthew 16:1)

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? (Matthew 22:17-18)

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” (Mark 10:2)

And there are numbers of other examples of the very same tactic.

The wicked not only put the Lord to the test directly, probably even more often they do this by putting Christ’s people to the test. If you are an abuse victim or survivor, I know that you have had this happen to you and probably frequently. Another name for this tactic is “the set up.” Because that really is what the point of the thing is. To set someone up (the target of the abuser) for failure, humiliation, or some kind of condemnation. It is quite diabolical as you think about it. Subtlety and cunning cruelty working overtime to plan the set up.

Abusers are really masters at this and they can construct a set up amazingly quickly. After all, evil like this is their very nature. They will say something, almost always in front of others, that demands some kind of response or answer, and they do their best to make it a no-win proposition. Whatever the victim says or has to say is going to appear self-condemning.

A very appropriate response is, “You hypocrite. Why do you put me to the test?”  If you can do so safely, try it next time the old set up ploy is pulled on you.


  1. bright sunshinin' day

    Jesus really did pave the way for us and showed us how to deal with abusers…tricksters. The response you suggest when a schemer sets his/her trap is a good one:

    “A very appropriate response is, “You hypocrite. Why do you put me to the test?” If you can do so safely, try it next time the old set up ploy is pulled on you.”

  2. Raped By Evil

    Pastor Crippen, this is SO right on target!

    The set up. My husband does this perpetually. The thing is, even though I was raised with abusers like this I didn’t know how to combat it. I just tried to stay away from them and truthfully, that was the best defense and the only one open to me at the time

    My husband was raised with others like himself so the endless taunting and setting up others to take a fall was always taking place. My husband LOVES this environment and found it endlessly stimulating and since there were so many of them, he always had a victim who would turn into a villain once they discovered whatever current deception had taken place. They loved to exact revenge on one another and emotionally and spiritually nobody was getting hurt because they all have the same nature. They thrive in evil environments and feel powerful and satiated for a time.

    Enter marriage to me. My husband told me early on that I was a person who never sought revenge. I had no idea what he meant by this, but as time went by and God showed me the truth about my husband and I was able to see that even though my husband KNEW I wasn’t abusive or vengeful or spiteful, he STILL played the same games with me that he did growing up. He set me up over and over but did it in ways that seemed like he was caring and loving. He got me pregnant again and again, kept buying houses and cars we couldn’t afford but I was the one left to manage the bills and he seemed like he really listened when I told him we couldn’t afford things…he just found another way to get them. He would tell me he’d be home at a certain time and then either be late or early, but rarely when he said he would. I now know him so I listen when he tells me he’s going to do such and such with so and so at this place……he ALWAYS lies in one portion of it……….ALWAYS. He used to tell me I heard him wrong, but now I know he’s simply setting me up….to disappoint me, to not satisfy me, to be against me, to dishonor me and to make me think I’m crazy or have others think I’m crazy.

    I now often battle him with the truth which is that Jesus lives in my heart and that’s who he is against. He tries to separate my actions from my heart but I REFUSE to allow him to do this because all of my actions REFLECT that the Holy Spirit lives inside of me, and that when he tests me, he is actually pushing at / testing God who lives within me. He gets VERY ANGRY about this but he usually backs off because I am the ONLY PERSON HE HAS EVER MET THAT HAS LOVED HIM, and although he doesn’t TRULY understand it, I knows there is truth in what I’m saying.

    It was never about me–my husbands abuse–it was always about how evil he was and is.
    It was never about me–my husbands abuse–it was always due to his evil heart that he chose to have it above all else.

    It was always supposed to be the churches job to teach us to identify these evil people so that we could stay away from them, not marry them and not have children with them. But that’s the set up isn’t it? The devils set up—to poke and prod those who belong to Jesus, to tempt and to harass us, God’s true little ones–to ACT like they REALLY DESIRE truth and goodness and are trying to ferret out evil–but the truth is that they want to ferret out GOD –so that they can set THEMSELVES in His place because they NATURALLY oppose Him and those who belong to Him. Putting God to the test is just another red flag that shows that one is not of God.

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