For the second, we are to know, that where need is, (as the Heathen speaks) there a man may commit himself to the providence of God, & rely upon him. For we have heard, that where the means fail us, God hath yet in store his four prerogatives: therefore, when it comes to a dead lift (as we say) then to have a strong confidence in GOD, is thank-worthy: and it is the practice & property of faith, to say boldly with Abraham when he saw nothing present, that even on the hill God will provide, Gen. 22. 14.
When our enemies are behind us, and the Red Sea before us, then to look for a way through the sea, and to expect Manna out of heaven, and water out of the rock, is much worth. So, our Savior, when he and his company were in the desert, where no meat was to be had, fed them miraculous: but being near to the town where they might have it, he dismissed them. When Elijah was in distress, & all meats failed him, then the Angel brought him meat, 1. Kings 19. 6. When Hagar and Ishmael were in the wilderness, and the water in the bottle spent, and she in great heaviness, then GOD comforted her from heaven, Gen. 21.7. When the Israelites were in the deserts, then they had an Angel to lead them, Ex. 23. 20. When Sidrach, Misach and Abednago were cast bound into the fiery furnace then God sent them an Angel to be their deliverer, Dan. 3. 38. And so when Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den (not when he put himself in) God sent his Angel to stop the Lions mouths, Dan. 6. 22. When we are deserti in deserto, and all means fail, it is time to trust in God, as Jobdid.
Our conversation [conduct, not merely speech] therefore must be without covetousness, and we must be content with those things that we have: for he hath said, he will not fail us, nor forsake us, Heb. 13. 5. This [takes] it out of the compass of tempting God, and this is as much as the Psalm could warrant him to look for. Look upon it, and you shall see, that it expresses such dangers, as could not be prevented by man’s care & industry, as, from the snare of the hunter, v. 3. who uses to lay it so as we cannot see it to avoid it. Ver. 5. Thou shalt not feare the arrowe that flyeth by daye. An arrow (we know) will reach a man far off before he be aware. And so, throughout the Psalm, they are things out of our defense, therefore they need Angel’s help: but when we have means to help ourselves, God’s omnipotence is for the time discharged. Eutychus that fell out of a window by heaviness of sleep, was restored to life by Paul, Acts 20. 9. This then is Christ’s answer, If there were no stairs, and he must needs go down, it were a good Scripture to meditate on.
When may we look for God to miraculously intervene? When there are ordinary means to solve our trouble, we are to look to ordinary means. If you are sick and there is medical treatment available, look to the medical treatment. But when there are no ordinary means, we may look to God directly. If the medical treatment cannot save us, then we can look to God to save us.
This is good direction: There is a kind of Christian who looks to God to resolve our problems without normal human intervention: I will have money to pay bills without work. I will have health without taking care of my health. And so on. To do this is presume upon God, to “tempt” God.
There is another kind of Christian who will never look to God and will seek to solve all problems around God and without God. This is the temptation to turn stones into bread.
The temptation of the pinnacle offers a good illustration of this: If there are stairs, take the stairs: do not jump. But if you are pushed from the pinnacle, trust in God.
 “Where need is”: where there is a lack of something which puts someone in need. When we are truly in a circumstance where we cannot proceed or where we suffer the lack of something, we should properly trust God to care for us. We are to commit ourselves to the providence of God.
 When we have exhausted all of the ordinary means, or where there is no ordinary means to resolve our difficulty, it is appropriate to rely upon God to resolve our trouble. The passage referenced concerns God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. The command of God is twice troubling: First, there is the obvious problem of a human sacrifice, particularly of one who is beloved. But with Abraham, the command of God was to destroy the very thing which God had promised Abraham. God promised Abraham as a son. Abraham had waited decades for God to fulfill that promise. And only through Abraham would God fulfill the promises to Abraham of a land and a people. To kill Isaac was for all of God’s promises to apparently fail. However, God provided a substitute for the life of Isaac. “So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.’” Genesis 22:14 (ESV)
 Andrews recounts God’s miraculous deliverance of the Israelites in Exodus. First, Israel was pinned between the Egyptian Army on oneside and the Red Sea on the other. God provided an escape through the Red Sea. (Ex. 14) Second, in the wilderness, the people ran out of food. God provided “manna” to feed the people. (Ex. 16) Third, when there was no water to be had, God provided water from a rock. (Ex. 17:1-7) From this Andrews concludes: When we have no ordinary means to go ahead, God has the wisdom and power to provide for us miraculously.
 For instance, in Matthew 14, the crowd remained with Jesus until the end of the day. Since they were in a “desolate place” (Matt. 14:15), Jesus did not send them away but fed them miraculously
 Elijah was in a desolate place and could find nothing to eat. There, God miraculously fed him.
 God says to Moses, “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20 (ESV)
 The three refused to worship an idol set up by the King of Babylon. For their refusal, they were cast into a “fiery furnace.” They miraculously survived the ordeal. And one “like the son the gods” (Dan. 3:25) was seen in the furnace with them.
 Daniel did not look for persecution or trouble. But when persecution found him, God saved him.
 We are to use ordinary means. But where there are no ordinary means, we are to rely upon God.
 We are to be content with what God provides. When God provides ordinary means, we are to be content. When there are no ordinary means to escape, we are to be content knowing that God has not deserted us: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
 The promise of the Psalm quoted by the Devil should not be taken as a blanket promise that no difficulty would ever befall Jesus (or us). But rather, a promise that God has the ability in the midst of extraordinary difficulties to provide an extraordinary remedy.
 Andrews quotes lines from the Psalm to prove his point. The troubles listed a “snare” and an “arrow” are both things that one might be able to avoid with ordinary means: A snare is unseen and an arrow can shoot you from a place you did not expect. God promises protection for these troubles we cannot avoid by ordinary means. Therefore, an “angel’s help” is offered.
 When we have ordinary means, we should not look to God to provide an extraordinary protection.
 Eutychus was a young man listening to Paul speak late into the evening. He would have without question have been working all day, the evening being the only time he could be free. Eutychus fell asleep and fell from the window. But God miraculously spared and raised Eutychus.
The Devil’s dart is▪ Cast thee downe: but he bestows some great cost on this. With the self-same armor that Christ bare off the other dart, does the Devil sharpen and harden this: he does not so in any other of the temptations, therefore we are to look for great matter: he brings scripture, that he may be the better credited. He speaks not now after the manner of men, 1. Cor. 9. 8, so that it is not he now that speaks, but Scripture, as Paul reasons there. You see (saith he) I counsel you to nothing, but that the Psalms will bear you out in.
The Devil knew well by his own fall, how dangerous the sin of presumption is, it cost him dearly, and so did Davidlikewise, and therefore of all other, he prays to God to keep him from presumptuous sins: Ps. 19. 13. He knew also what it was to abuse the goodness, patience and long suffering of God, Rom. 2. 4. Therefore he avouches it by Scripture: he tells him it will be long to go down the stairs, and teaches him a nearer way, but a jump, or to cast himself down, and to fear no hurt, for the Angels have charge of him.
And even so he persuades men now-a-days; that they need not go down faire and softly, in fear and trembling, but to defer all till their dying hour, & then commend themselves to God, and throw themselves upon Gods mercy, and that fiery Chariot that took up Elijah shall come and fetch up them: or else an angel shall carry them up, let them be sure they shall have no harm, for they be God’s darlings, and God doth so dote on them, that he will not suffer them in any case to receive the least hurt that may be.
If ever the Devil came in his likeness, it was here. In the first of Sam. 28.18. he came but in the guise of a Prophet: so that instead of saying, Is Saule among the Prophets? it might have been said, “What, is the Devil among the prophets?” But here he has used himself so cunningly, that if ever he was transformed into an angel of light, here it is verified. 1. Cor. 11. 14 for he comes here like a white devil, or like a Divine, he comes with a Psalter in his hand, and turns to the place, & shows our Savior the 91st Psalm vers. 11. and 12. wherein first we are to note, that the Devil reads Psalms, as well as we, and hath the words of Scripture in his mouth. And 1. Sam. 28. he counterfeited Samuel so right, and used the very words that he had used, that they could not know him from Samuel: so, here he counterfeited the voce of David, Act. 19. 15.
This will make us shake off security, considering that God does (for our trial) sometime deliver the adversary the key of the armory, whereby he is able to hold argument with an Archangell, Jude 9, yea, with Christ himself, as we see here. How careful therefore had we need to be, to find out a fit answer for him? For only to assault us does he read he Scriptures: yea, but not to anu good end, but even thereby to deceive the simplicity of men; as here, to make them put their souls in adventure to the last hour.
He has indeed a grace with some vain youths of the Court, & ungodly Atheists, to set them a scoffing at the Scripture, as Is. 28. 22. But with others, that have the Scriptures in more high reverence, he goes another way to work, making it to them the savor of death, Roman. chapt. 7. vers. 10.
The words which he uses in the name of Samuel, he uses to make Saul despair: and here he uses David’s words to cause presumption, and to make them our bane. And not every Scripture: but if there be any Scripture more full of heavenly comfort than another, that of all other will the Devil abuse; as indeed the Psalms are; and of all the Psalms, this 91. Especially, and in that part, if any one sentence be sweeter than another, that of all other will the Devil abuse.
Mark the second verse here cited. He shall giue his Angells charge ouer thee, to keepe thee in all thy ways. These last wordes the Devil leaves out, because they make not for his purpose. They shall beare thee in their hands, that thou dash not thy foote against a stone. And we shall see nothing can be spoken more comfortable: as first, in that it is said, that the Angels have charge over vs in all our ways: Exod. 23. 20. Behold I send my Angell before thee, to guide thee in the way, and to comfort, and confirm us: as when Jacob was in fear of his brother Esau, the Angel met him, Gen. 32. 1. and to defend us in all dangers, and succor us in all necessities, spreading their wings over vs, and pitching their tents about us, Ps. 34. 7.
Secondly, this charge not only concerns our head and principal members, but also our feet: yea, God’s providence reaches even to the hairs of our head, for they are numbered, Mat. 10. 30.
Thirdly, this charge of theirs is not only to admonish us when danger comes, but they are actually to help us, as it were putting their hands between the ground and us. Mat. 13. 41 they shall take the rubs and offences out of our way.
Fourthly, this do they not of courtesy, as being creatures given of nature to love mankind, but by special mandate and charge they are bound to it, and have a praecipe [Latin, mandate/charge] for it, yea, the very beasts & stones shall be in league with us. Job. 5. 23.
This Psalm, and these verses containing such comfort, hath the Devil culled to persuade men, that being such sweet Children of God, they may venture whether and upon what they will; for the Angels attend them at an inch. He bids them put the matter in adventure, and then but whistle for an angel, and they will come at first: he carries them up to the top of the pinnacle, and shows them their own case in Annas and Herod; and tells them God will require no more of them, than he did at their hands: & all the way as they go up, he sings them a Psalm of the mercies of God: he carries them up with a song, that God’s mercy is above all his works, Psalm. 145. 9. And with Psalm. 103.8 how gracious and long-suffring God is, who rewards us not according to our deserts: and Psalm. 136. That his mercie endureth for euer: God therefore being so full of mercy, will take all things in good part. But this mercy theDevil tells them of, differs from the mercy David [the Psalmist] meant: for the mercy David speaks of, is coupled with judgement, Ps. 101. 1. I will sing mercie and iudgement to thee O Lord: and Ps. 85. 10. Mercie & truth are met together, Iustice and peace haue kissed each other. Thus I say they shall have music all the way, & if any at the height think it a great way down: no, saith the Devil, you need but a jump from your baptism into heaven, you shall need no stairs at all.
This section raises the matter which Bonhoffer so strikingly called “cheap grace”:
CHEAP GRACE IS THE mortal enemy of our church. Our struggle today is for costly grace.
Cheap grace means grace as bargain-basement goods, cut-rate forgiveness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacrament; grace as the church’s inexhaustible pantry, from which it is doled out by careless hands without hesitation or limit. It is grace without a price, without costs. It is said that the essence of grace is that the bill for it is paid in advance for all time. Everything can be had for free, courtesy of that paid bill. The price paid is infinitely great and, therefore, the possibilities of taking advantage of and wasting grace are also infinitely great. What would grace be, if it were not cheap grace?
Cheap grace means grace as doctrine, as principle, as system. It means forgiveness of sins as a general truth; it means God’s love as merely a Christian idea of God. Those who affirm it have already had their sins forgiven. The church that teaches this doctrine of grace thereby confers such grace upon itself. The world finds in this church a cheap cover-up for its sins, for which it shows no remorse and from which it has even less desire to be set free. Cheap grace is, thus, denial of God’s living word, denial of the incarnation of the word of God.
Cheap grace means justification of sin but not of the sinner. Because grace alone does everything, everything can stay in its old ways
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 43. The Devil comes to us and tell us that God is all made up of mercy and grace, and that we, having been baptized can fall right into heaven (as he strikingly ends this section).
This false portrayal of God has been a danger throughout the history of the church. In our age, it is coupled with the idea that a God who punishes sin is unworthy to be God. It is presumption on our part: we presume that God will forgive all and everything, that sin is a very small thing.
Thomas Brooks explains that such a lie of Satan must be combated with the utmost gravity and consideration of the truth of the circumstance:
Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That sins against mercy will bring the greatest and sorest judgments upon men’s heads and hearts. Mercy is Alpha, Justice is Omega. David, speaking of these attributes, placeth mercy in the foreward, and justice in the rearward, saying, ‘My song shall be of mercy and judgment,’ Ps. 101:1. When mercy is despised, then justice takes the throne.4 God is like a prince, that sends not his army against rebels before he hath sent his pardon, and proclaimed it by a herald of arms: he first hangs out the white flag of mercy; if this wins men in, they are happy for ever; but if they stand out, then God will put forth his red flag of justice and judgment; if the one is despised, the other shall be felt with a witness.5
See this in the Israelites. He loved them and chose them when they were in their blood, and most unlovely. He multiplied them, not by means, but by miracle; from seventy souls they grew in few years to six hundred thousand; the more they were oppressed, the more they prospered. Like camomile, the more you tread it, the more you spread it; or to a palm-tree, the more it is pressed, the further it spreadeth; or to fire, the more it is raked, the more it burneth. Their mercies came in upon them like Job’s messengers, one upon the neck of the other: He put off their sackcloth, and girded them with gladness, and ‘compassed them about with songs of deliverance;’ he ‘carried them on the wings of eagles;’ he kept them ‘as the apple of his eye’ &c.6 But they, abusing his mercy, became the greatest objects of his wrath. As I know not the man that can reckon up their mercies, so I know not the man that can sum up the miseries that are come upon them for their sins. For as our Saviour prophesied concerning Jerusalem, ‘that a stone should not be left upon a stone,’ so it was fulfilled forty years after his ascension, by Vespasian the emperor and his son Titus, who, having besieged Jerusalem, the Jews were oppressed with a grievous famine, in which their food was old shoes, old leather, old hay, and the dung of beasts. There died, partly of the sword and partly of the famine, eleven hundred thousand of the poorer sort; two thousand in one night were embowelled; six thousand were burned in a porch of the temple; the whole city was sacked and burned, and laid level to the ground; and ninety-seven thousand taken captives, and applied to base and miserable service, as Eusebius and Josephus saith.1 And to this day, in all parts of the world, are they not the off-scouring of the world? None less beloved, and none more abhorred, than they.2
And so Capernaum, that was lifted up to heaven, was threatened to be thrown down to hell. No souls fall so low into hell, if they fall, as those souls that by a hand of mercy are lifted up nearest to heaven. You slight souls that are so apt to abuse mercy, consider this, that in the gospel days, the plagues that God inflicts upon the despisers and abusers of mercy are usually spiritual plagues; as blindness of mind, hardness of heart, benumbedness of conscience, which are ten thousand times worse than the worst of outward plagues that can befall you. And therefore, though you may escape temporal judgments, yet you shall not escape spiritual judgments: ‘How shall we escape, if neglect so great salvation?’ Heb. 2:3,3 saith the apostle. Oh! therefore, whenever Satan shall present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy, that he may draw thee to do wickedly, say unto him, that sins against mercy will bring upon the soul the greatest misery; and therefore whatever becomes of thee, thou wilt not sin against mercy, &c.
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 28–29.
Therefore, we must be careful to watch for this deception playing out in our own hearts, when we excuse and minimize our own sin.
 1 Corinthians 9:7–10 (ESV) “7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.” Paul supports his argument by referencing the Scripture. The Devil uses the same technique.
 The Devil provides an emphasis to this temptation which he does not make with his other temptations: I am not asking you to do anything other than what is specifically stated in the Scripture, specifically the Psalms.
11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
 Rather than repent today just wait. And then, at the last minute, cast yourself upon God’s mercy and his angel will take you to heaven
 Saul having been abandoned by God goes to the witch at Endor and asks her to raise Samuel from the dead. An apparition appears who looks like Samuel and tells Saul he will die the next day. What actually took place has been a matter of debate. Andrews takes it that the Devil appeared in the likeness of Samuel.
10 When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
 2 Corinthians 11:14 (ESV) And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
 A divine would be a well-trained pastor or theologian, an expert in divinity.
 He pretended to be Samuel when Saul went to the witch at Endor. And the Devil pretends to speak like David when he comes to Jesus, since David wrote many of the Psalms.
 Acts 19:13–17 (ESV) 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.
9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
 Our armoury would be our defense against the Devil, in particular the Scripture itself. But here we see that the Devil can make use of the Scripture against. Therefore, we had better be prepared to know who to defend ourself against his wiles.
 The King’s court. The Devil has assistants in the government.
 For some, the Scripture does not bring relief but brings condemnation, hence, death: Romans 7:9–11 (ESV)
9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Andrews is also making an allusion to 2 Corinthians 2:14–16 (ESV)
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
 The Devil can turn any part of Scripture to his advantage. He uses words in one place to cause despair; in another place to tempt presumption. He can take the Psalms which are of all parts of the Bible most comforting and turn them into a plea for sin!
 The reference here is to the Israelites leaving Egypt and going into Canaan. God has promised to go with them to assure their protection and success. Exodus 23:20 (ESV)“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.”
 Of Isaacs two sons, Jacob was the one who inherited the promise to Abraham. Following the conflict with Esau, Esau promised to kill Jacob. Jacob had fled to the extended family’s home in Haran. When Jacob returned to Canaan, he feared that Esau would finally execute his revenge. God kept his promise and Esau met Jacob kindly.
40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 While we may not realize it, angels may have removed difficulties or obstacles without our notice.
The fifth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,
Device (5). To present God to the soul as one made up all of mercy. Oh! saith Satan, you need not make such a matter of sin, you need not be so fearful of sin, not so unwilling to sin; for God is a God of mercy, a God full of mercy, a God that delights in mercy, a God that is ready to shew mercy, a God that is never weary of shewing mercy, a God more prone to pardon his people than to punish his people; and therefore he will not take advantage against the soul; and why then, saith Satan, should you make such a matter of sin?
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 27.
 His mercy/steadfast love endures forever is a repeated refrain in this Psalm:
Psalm 136:1–2 (ESV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
 God is not a God of mercy only, but of judgment and mercy. The mercy is when God withholds deserved judgment. The Devil is portraying a God of all mercy and no-judgment. The word translated as “mercy” in Andrews’ Bible and translated “steadfast love” in the ESV actually makes this point well. It is the Hebrew word Hesed:
It is not possible to convey precisely ḥesed ‘s semantic range as encountered in profane usage with one Eng. word. ḥesed is not “grace,” and the often suggested “favor” is insufficient. First, ḥesed occurs tangibly in concrete situations and at the same time transcends the individual demonstration and envisions the actor. In this regard, the term exhibits affinities with Eng. “kindness,” and with “goodness” as well (see 3c). ḥesed does occur in relation to particular social forms; its configuration may even be governed by them, but it is never the obvious, the obligatory. It is a human demeanor that alone can fill a form with life and is in some cases (not always) the very requirement for the birth of a community. Jepsen (op. cit. 269) attempted to describe the intention as good will that becomes good deed. This notion is certainly included but is alone insufficient. I suggest an expression for magnanimity, for a sacrificial, humane willingness to be there for the other (Stoebe, diss. 67; id., VT 2 : 248). It is a given that ḥesed always has to do in some way with the life of the other, and that one expects and hopes from the recipient of such ḥesed a similar willingness that in turn surpasses the obligatory.
Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann, Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), 456.