Good morning everyone. I pray you are ready for another great work week or prepared to enjoy a vacation week, whatever the case may be for you. We are turning the page to 1 Corinthians 10 this morning as we look at an important caution from Paul.
Sometimes we believers get lazy in our attitude about our attitude and due to our casualness with Jesus we forget who we are dealing with. Sometimes we take the Father's forgiveness for granted and we do not treat what he does with awe and sometimes just assume he is forgiving us. We become spoiled in this incredibly rich, powerful and fundamental relationship we have with our Creator. But Paul has a cautionary word for us:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! v. 12
Paul uses the example of Israel to point out the danger of taking Jesus for granted and not putting effort into the relationship. He pointed out that Israel had a relationship where they saw the tangible presence of God every day and they enjoyed a close relationship with him:
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers 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. vv. 1-4
It sounds all great and wonderful until we understand this:
Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. v. 5
That intimacy did not save them from God's wrath when it came to their disobedience and rebellion. No matter how well they knew God and were dependent on him, they still had to pay the price for their sin. Paul makes the direct connection here:
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 pagan 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 the Lord, 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. vv. 6-10
Take note of this: we can understand the sin of adultery and even the sin of sexual immorality but grumbling? How often have you grumbled against God? What does it show about your relationship that is suppose to be built on trust? Do you trust someone you are grumbling against? So what does it reveal about your relationship? Too often we think we are safe because we are not into the "big" sins but anything that is not based in faith is sin. So Paul continues:
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! vv. 11-12
Just don't make assumptions and miss the boat. Always check yourself, check your relationship, check your attitude. Then Paul does what Paul did best; he encouraged after the warning:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it. v. 13
God is not against us, he is our biggest fan. His desire is to see us succeed. He will do everything to make sure we cross that finish line. No matter what we face he will help us stand, to face it, to overcome it and receive victory for it. Do you get it? Do not let your hearts turn against our incredible Creator, instead dive in. Every day that you face the temptation to sin, including grumbling ask yourself this:
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. v. 13
And when you find it hard just remember the alternative:
Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
Stay close and true to Jesus Christ!