LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE!
Open my eyes to Your word today as I seek Your truth.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:14–22
Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper
14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHow aware are you of spiritual realities in the everyday world around you?
In Disney’s The Lion King 1½, Rafiki the mandrill encourages Timon the meerkat to “look beyond what you see.” In this reading, Paul encourages the Corinthian Christians to do the same.
When considering idols, Paul has already agreed with them that physically idols are just lumps of wood, stone or metal (8:4). But here he expands that idea—physical reality is not the only reality. We also need to consider what is happening in the spiritual realm.
Eating at someone’s table in Middle Eastern culture at that time implied friendship, agreement and unity. Thus Communion is symbolic of our “oneness” with Christ and our fellowship with each other. Similarly, although an idol itself is nothing, eating at a banquet dedicated to an idol meant expressing unity and agreement with demons who use idol worship to deceive and enslave people.
The Corinthians had boasted of their “knowledge” (8:1). Here Paul appeals to that knowledge and calls on them to judge wisely (15): look at things from a spiritual perspective, don’t play with fire, flee from idolatry!
Have you allowed yourself to be sucked in by other spiritual forces through movies, music or other cultural impacts? Choose to recommit to being wholly united with Christ only.
Thank You, God, that You have won the victory over all spiritual forces.