1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Friday, 3 June 2022
“The things happened to them as examples and were written down as warning for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” -1 Corinthians 10:11
Corinth was a city of great prominence in Greece, a place of great trade and wealth. Paul ministered in this city for eighteen months (Acts 18:1-18) with great success and established a church here. After he left from there he writes this epistle to the church in Corinth to rectify some disorders in the church. The underlying theme of this epistle is Christian conduct.
Let us look into the context of our key verse—Under the leadership of Moses, God guided Israelites out of Egypt, moving with them in the pillar of cloud during the day and pillar of fire by night. God’s guidance did not fail them but continually and successfully led them through the Red Sea. As a people, they were united under God’s redemptive plan and they were under the authority of Moses’ leadership. Although God provided for their basic needs of food and water throughout their wilderness journey, He was not pleased with them as their hearts were not loyal to Him. They disobeyed God which resulted in their punishment. Hence most of them perished in the wilderness without reaching the Promised Land.
This is a warning to us. We who are baptized and have submitted our lives to Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as Savior and Master and God’s appointed leader, are on our journey to Heavenly Canaan. The rock from which Israelites drank water and the manna they ate symbolizes our spiritual sustenance through Christ, the bread of Life and the water of Life (cf: John 4:40, John 6:30 -35).
What was their sin and how can we avoid it?
They lusted or were discontent: When God gave them manna, they lusted after meat, because of carnal desires. If we are not content with what we have, lust will carry us away from our destiny.
They worshiped idols: They made a golden calf and worshipped it. Paul warns believers about idols—although we don’t make idols, many things can become idols in our lives, sins that come with the pride of life (pride in name, fame, position), the lust of eyes (a greed for possessions, money) or the lust of flesh (adultery, same sex relationships, over indulgence) etc.
They fell into sexual sins: They worshipped the gods of Baal of Peor and engaged in sexual immorality. Bible records that twenty-three thousand were killed by plagues. Believers should avoid such type of adulterous attitude. Jesus Christ said, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt.5:28)
They tested God: They spoke against God and Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”(Numbers 21:5) Because of this many were bitten by snakes and died. Believers who doubt God’s power, and wonder whether God will be able to fulfil His promises, (when His promises are “Yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus), limit God. Doubting or limiting God’s greatness or doubting His love towards us, tells that we have gone wrong, unable to comprehend His faithfulness and forgiveness when we run to Him in repentance.
They grumbled: Numbers 16:41-50. Israelites grumbled by complaining against Moses and they were destroyed by an angel. At times, we grumble against the word of God thus disobeying Him! Be careful to understand that during such times, we also come under the wrath of God. We should not grumble in a similar manner.
There we see Moses falling face down to God for interceding for the people. Likewise, Jesus Christ is our Mediator before God, constantly pleads for us. Let us carefully examine our lives and “…Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”(Phil.2:12 NLT)
Prayer: Heavenly Father enable us to do Your will which will glorify God through Jesus Christ our Lord forever. Amen