Biblical accommodation is the application of words or verses taken from the Bible to express a different meaning than the original meaning as expressed in the original context that the words and verses were used. For example the common excuse for sin, “The Devil made me do it” or “Satan tempted me to sin” is clearly a misinterpretation of the verse, Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:13 NASB
It is true that in this fallen world we will be tempted to sin, but the Apostle Paul and James state very clearly where sin comes from and that God will not allow anyone to be tempted beyond what they are able to endure.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
James 1:13-16 NASB
The one thing that has always bothered me about people who go on and on about Satan and his preoccupation with causing them to sin, is that they take no personal responsibility for their sins. They don’t seem to take it as a learning experience so that they will not sin again. They often tell me, “God has forgotten about my sin and I have too.” Well if you repent, truly repent and ask for His forgiveness He is faithful to forgive, but Christ said to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Go and sin no more.” Now He was speaking to her about adultery and not ever sinning in any way again. Her sin issue was adultery and she needed to repent and abstain from that sin life of hers.
In the days and weeks to come we will examine Biblical accommodation and it’s use throughout the history of the church. There is only one true interpretation of scripture, but there may be an infinite number of spiritual applications for the lives of His children. A good example of a promise made to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5) and a Psalm of David (Psalm 118:6) is applied by the writer of Hebrews to all Christians.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
so that we confidently say,
“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.
WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 NASB
Promises made to one person may at times be applied to all Christians, but it would not be consistent to apply promises made to Israel to any other nation-state or the church in general. God is not concerned with nation states, but is only concerned about His children and it is for the individual that He sent His only begotten Son to earth to save.
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.
Isaiah 40:15-17 NASB
The essential truth of accommodation theology is that an infinite God is capable of making himself know to us through the Bible which was written by fallible human authors. The ability of the finite, fallible human to understand the infinite, infallible God seems to be a contradiction, but man can know God through His Word when the Word is discerned through the power of the Holy Spirit. For man is not capable of understanding the true meaning of the scripture apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. As The Lord told His disciples regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit;
So let us no longer say, “The Devil made me do it”, but rather us say, “God is capable of getting me through it.” For He has given us His Word and His Wisdom to be able to endure trials and temptations. He has given us a way out if we will only follow Him and live in His ways. For there are two ways and the choice is and always has been ours.