Before you read this passage, ask our faithful God to help you to face the reality of your weaknesses.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
 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.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food  and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.  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.”  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did-and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.  We should not test Christ, as some of them did-and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel.  These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat warning and encouragement do you find here?
The life of the Israelites in the desert that we’ve read about in Numbers seems far removed from ours. So it’s all too easy to distance ourselves from them historically and spiritually. And in any case, Christ lives in us (Col. 1:27) and the Holy Spirit has come to guide us into truth (John 16:13). But wait just a moment. In today’s reading Paul is writing to Christians living in Corinth, an environment full of temptation to sin. He warns them that their spiritual credentials don’t somehow put them above the Israelites. After all, God had provided what the Israelites needed in the desert (4)! So the desert experience was a warning for the Corinthians and for us (11). And it’s not just the big ticket sins we need to watch out for: idolatry (7) and sexual immorality (8). The fact that grumbling is on the list (10) emphasizes our vulnerability. But all of this is not a counsel of despair, because our God is faithful (13). He knows our limits and can provide a way out.
What tempts you the most? What escape routes has God provided? What changes could you make to use them?
Lord, thank You that You help me when I’m tempted. Help me see and use the means of escape You provide.
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