Don't Worship Idols
1 Friends, I want to remind you that all our ancestors walked under the cloud and went through the sea. 2This was like being baptized and becoming followers of Moses. 3 All of them also ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink, which flowed from the spiritual rock that followed them. That rock was Christ. 5 But most of them did not please God. So they died, and their bodies were scattered all over the desert.
6What happened to them is a warning to keep us from wanting to do the same evil things. 7 They worshiped idols, just as the Scriptures say, “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance around.” So don't worship idols. 8 Some of those people did shameful things, and in a single day about 23,000 died. Don't do shameful things as they did. 9 And don't try to test Christ, as some of them did and were later bitten by poisonous snakes. 10 Don't even grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. 11These things happened to them as a warning to us. All this was written in the Scriptures to teach us who live in these last days.
12Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. 13 You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.
Don’t be too confident! Paul was concerned about the self-satisfied way the Corinthians talked. He saw real danger that they might fall into serious sins because of it (v 12). So he gave an Old Testament example as a warning, reminding them of the Israelites in Moses’ day.
• Look what they had (vv 1-4). They were miraculously brought out of Egypt, were fed with manna from heaven and drank water out of a rock – in fact, Christ himself went with them (v 4).
• Look what they did (vv 5-11). For many of them, life ended in disaster. Their five sins are listed in verses 6-10. All because they thought they had God’s special favour and could do as they liked. Just like the Corinthians. And just like some of us?
Sometime, get a piece of paper. Write down a list of the blessings you enjoy, all the advantages you have in life. Then follow this with a list of the dangers these advantages may lead you into. Verse 12 should spur you on to do a careful spiritual check-up. And if the temptation to grow slack is already powerful, verse 13 will show you the way to victory.
Lord, You have given me so much: my home, my friends, my church, my possessions. May they never lead my heart away from you. Amen.