LEARNING FROM THE PAST
“I need You to soften my heart and break me apart. I need… to see that You’re shaping my life” (Elevation Worship).
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1–13
Warnings From Israel’s History
10 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“History repeats itself. Has to. No-one listens” (Steve Turner, “History Lesson”).
My cupboards are full of things I have started but not finished—a knitted cardigan, a tapestry picture, a dress my daughter will now never fit into.
At the end of chapter 9, Paul writes about the need to finish what God has set before us, and the danger of keeping anything that would prevent us from finishing. Now he uses the example of the ancient Israelites, who had seen a great display of God’s love and power as he brought them out of Egypt. They had crossed through the Red Sea—a picture of baptism; they had eaten manna and drunk water from a rock—a picture of Communion. They even experienced the presence of Christ with them in the wilderness. Yet despite all this, they never received the blessing that God really had in store for them—they never reached the Promised Land.
The Israelites failed because they did not keep their focus on God; they allowed other things to become more important to them. Paul warns the Corinthians, and us, not to rely on past blessings and experiences, and not to take liberties with our spiritual freedom.
Are you taking liberties with spiritual freedom? What change in focus do you need in order to finish the race well?
Thank You, God, that You are faithful. Help me to run the race well.