Day 78…1 Corinthians 10:1-11

January 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM Leave a comment

I Corinthians 10:1-11: Learn from others’ mistakes

Paul now switches gears from using himself as an example of a mature Christian to now in chapter 10 uses the children of Israel as an example of spiritual immaturity, hoping we can learn self-discipline from both.

v.1, a perfect example of believing the false notion that one can be saved and then live a faithless, God-less life can be seen in what happened to Jews’ “ancestors in the wilderness long ago.” The book of Exodus contains the records their miraculous escape from Egypt and how God guided them by “a cloud that moved ahead of them” during the day and a pillar of fire during the night. These two guides where referring to God’s presence. When they came to an obstacle in their way like the Red Sea, God brought them through as “all of them walked through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14).

v.2, this next verse seems very difficult to understand because Paul uses the word “baptized” but not the way we are used to understanding it, immersion in water. He uses it to suggest identification and allegiance with their spiritual leader of their community: “Moses.” “In the cloud” represented God’s presence and glory, indicating his protection. “In the sea” represented God’s salvation of his people through the Red Sea as they crossed safely to freedom to escape the pursuits of the Egyptians. “All” of the children of Israel experienced this “baptism” but the common experience did not keep most of them faithful to God in the days to come.

v.3-4, Further miracles along the children of Israel’s journey sustained them, like the “spiritual food” or manna from heaven. Paul said it was spiritual because God provided it for them. The “spiritual drink” referred to the water Moses obtained for them from a rock, another provision from God. Paul refers to “Christ” as the “spiritual rock that traveled with them,” meeting their needs for them wherever they went.

v.5, the children of Israel got to experience so many miracles performed by God, setting them free from slavery, guiding them through the Sea, and giving them food and water in a barren wilderness. After all this, “most of them” rebelled against God and “God was not pleased” so“their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” Only Joshua and Caleb lived long enough to enter the Promised Land.

v.6-10, Paul then gives a warning to the believers in Corinth, “these things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did.” Paul didn’t want the believers in Corinth to fall into the same trap as the children of Israel did. Paul goes on to give them a few more examples from the life of the Israelites: v.7, worship of the golden calf while Moses from receiving the Law on Mt. Sinai, v.8, men engaged in immoral sexual activity with Moabite women and 23,000 died in one day. v.9, When people complained against Moses and God about the hardships in the desert and God punished them sending poisonous snakes where many were killed that day, v.10, they complained against the leadership of both Moses and Aaron and God punished them with a plague that came from the angel of death.

v.11, All of “these things happened to them [Israelites] as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.” Paul wanted us all (first century believers and believers today) to remember when the Israelites disobeyed, they rec’d punishment, likewise, when we as Christians sin with no repentance, no desire to change, we too will be punished.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  The most vivid thing I want to take with me from today’s study is I am no different than the Israelites and the Corinth believers. So I need to heed the warning Paul gives and the examples of what happened to the Israelites because they complained and disobeyed. I want to remember all the amazing things God has done for me like life and health (being a cancer survivor), food, family, my ministry and of course friends. And be grateful for those things he has provided for me instead of complaining about the things I don’t have and want.

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Day 77…1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Gum

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