After the Highs, the Lows
Father, inspire me with fresh insight and a new vision of You. I battle a divided loyalty and waning trust.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
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.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Remember, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
How do we prevent normal frailty and failure from becoming serious apostasy? The apostle Paul is concerned about the Corinthian Christians. He has been meditating on two incidents with common patterns during the Exodus (7,8). While Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving the covenant, others bully Aaron into making a calf idol, which they worship as they feast. Executions by Moses ensue, with a physical plague which is seen as God’s judgment (Exod. 32:25-28,35). Years later, large numbers of a new generation join a feast at the shrine of the Baal of Peor, which includes sex with the local women. On the hill above, Balaam has been blessing the people. Again people are killed and a huge number die of a sudden infection (Num. 25:1-9).
The Corinthians highly value their spiritual experiences in worship. They have been baptized, leaving their old lives behind as they went under the water, and received the gift of the Spirit. But the Exodus folk had had experiences as special and dramatic when they passed through the sea accompanied by the cloud of God’s presence (2). They had been fed by God (3,4) as the Corinthians were at their celebrations of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:16,17; 11:20).
In Chronicles we just read of a glorious celebration when the cloud of God’s glory filled the temple. Such spiritual highlights do not protect against temptation. If anything, they may leave us vulnerable as reaction and exhaustion set in. We must learn to settle back into rhythms of watchfulness and attitudes of humility (12) so that we spot the early stages of sin and quickly seek God in repentance. This will be the theme of Solomon’s prayer.
If we are humble and watchful we focus on God’s faithfulness and provision (13), not on our weakness. Make that your focus today.
Lord, walking with You can be a struggle. Remind me that I battle not for victory but from victory, won by You at Calvary.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.