This week Pastor Lancelot preached on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. In this passage, the Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian church to heed the warnings from biblical history. The Israelites were God’s chosen people! God raised up Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt through the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. In their desert wanderings, God provided clear guidance through the pillar of cloud and fire. He also provided spiritual food and drink for them. The pre-incarnate Christ accompanied them as well.
But 1 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, “Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.”
The Israelites, who were so privileged to be God’s people and taken under His great care, were not pleasing to Him. What did they do to displease God?
1 Corinthians 10:7-10 tells us three things the Israelites did that displeased God: (1) they were idolaters (they turned away from God and worshipped food, drink, and sex); (2) they tested God by daring Him to fail them by continuing to ask for more and more; and (3) they grumbled and complained, never being satisfied with what God provided.
God did not like this behavior. God gives us abundant grace but we are not to abuse this gift. And so 1 Corinthians 10:7-10 also tells us that because of the Israelites’ sin, many of them were killed.
The Apostle Paul tells us that these stories were written down as examples and warnings. The familiar verse 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “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.” This verse is not only an encouragement; it is a warning not to sin. There is no excuse. God’s grace and faithfulness are not a license to sin, but a reminder that we should not!