Learning from Israel’s History
1 Corinthians 10:1-12
10 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. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 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.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
This passage discusses how the Israelites believed that they were spiritually sound because walked the same path and did certain things, but were not actually firm in their faith. They had idols, were sexually immoral, and tested God. Their example warns us of what could potentially happen if we do the same. They believed that their salvation was secure just because they were baptized or took part in traditions, but the Israelites never entered the Promise Land and died in the wilderness.
Most of us have been led out of slavery and are freed from our sin, but we go into this wilderness season like the Israelites did. We may know of and experience God’s wonder, but we may not truly put Him before our own wants. We make our idols, something we can manipulate and see that we give our worship to. We do our thing first… and then comes God.
A few things to think about:
- We can, and should, learn from Israel’s failure in the wilderness. How did Israel fail?
- What are some things that you find yourself prioritizing or idolizing in your daily life?
- What are some ways that you can indulge in your relationship with the Lord and get to know Him more? Any habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine?
- How can we fully rely on God as our source of sustenance and not just go to Him in times of need, but rely on idols at other times?
- How can we resist temptations that are presented to us in order to be intentional about knowing God and prioritizing our relationship with Him? How can we say no to these evil things that the Israelites lusted after?