God Feels Our Rebellion

Sometimes people use the words “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13) to say that Christ as God could not have been tempted by men or demons at all. But of course what James 1:13 actually teaches is that God cannot be tempted successfully by men or demons. Hebrews 3:9 shows clearly that rebellious human beings can unsuccessfully tempt God to violate His holy character:

Your fathers tested [same Greek word for tempting as is found in James 1:13] and tried me, and for forty years saw what I did.

Was this temptation real? Did God actually feel it? Continuing with the next verse (Hebrews 3:10), God says:

That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.”

Yes, God really feels it when we tempt Him with our rebellious attitudes, even though He is so infinitely holy that He cannot respond in a sinful way.