Previously Paul had answered questions and addressed issued posed by the Judaizers in Corinth who had been insinuating about the apostle’s right to financial support by the church he planted there.
Paul also confessed, though he very much has the right to marry, he chose to remain single so to fulfill his appointed mission to deliver and advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To reinforce his point the apostle now uses examples from the old testament.
“1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
Paul describes God’s blessings upon the Jews as a “cloud” which protected the Jews as they fled Egypt. The same cloud would guide the Jews through the desert. Feeding on manna and drinking water, supernaturally provided by God, the Israelites were empowered by the spiritual water that flowed at Rephidim and Kadesh which miraculously gushed from a rock.
“5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” (1 Corinthians 10:5)
Though all of the Israelites did feed on the manna and drank the water provided by the Father, only a few survived the journey. Casting His wrath upon those who displeased Him, God saw that only the obedient would complete the journey to the promised land.
“6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” (1 Corinthians 10:6-7)
Pointing out the weaknesses of those who fell during the journey through the desert, Paul calls on believers to stand fast and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation. Armed with the breastplate of salvation and the sharp sword that is the gospel, Christians must be reminded of the price paid by the Jews who fell off the narrow path that leads to the promise land.
The apostle warns us the same fate awaits those who allow themselves to be taken off track along the Christian walk.
“8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.” (1 Corinthians 10:8-10)
As many fell to temptation and idolatry in Sinai while Moses was away, a number of believers in Corinth found themselves divided between worshipping God and idols. Paul warns his readers of the price for such immorality which is destruction.
“11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)
Using old testament examples as a warning rather than a curse, believers should be weary of temptation and its effect on those who least expect the enemy to attack them. By immersion is God’s word and through ongoing sanctification by works, believers are made righteous as we endure and press on, resisting temptation and glorifying our divine Father.
“13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Paul describes the temptation which faces us as one common to all men. By the Holy Spirit we are empowered to resist such temptation, promised never to be beyond our ability to manage. The apostle compares temptation to a series of tests meant to strengthen us as we advance the gospel and fulfill God’s perfect plan for our lives. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre