In reading 1 Corinthians 10 (heads up quizzers), we see Paul warning the church in Corinth not to fall back into patterns the people of God have already gone through. Ironically, we find ourselves in many of the same patterns today. Paul’s words send us a similar message, and unfortunately, could send the same message a thousand years from now possibly. (even though I hope with the Church that Christ comes in the next instant to complete what has begun)

Idolatry – The Israelites found themselves desiring pagan gods who might rescue them from “wandering” on their journey out of Egypt to the promised land. The church in Corinth may have similarly found it easier to allow vague pagan influences to become a part of their response to God, as Christianity was figuring out a new way of being God’s people. Today, we have many things that compete for our time/resources/being. We may not bow down or pray to these things, but they can definitely become things we ascribe too much worth to (worship).

Sexual Immorality (a sub-category of Idolatry) – An obvious one here, in all three communities. But at least in the first two, such things were talked about, and in seeking purity/holiness the people of God would correct each other. Today, such topics are either considered “taboo” or “conservative“. But we recognize the seriousness of sexual immorality. Sexual experiences outside the context of marriage are something warned about severely.

Putting Christ/God to the Test – Paul was most likely speaking of Numbers 21 where the people of Israel did not believe God would provide for them. As if God would have accomplished everything so far, simply to let them die in the wilderness, alone and forgotten. Corinth was a popular city to pass through, and full of other cultures/gods. The temptation would be to somehow “prove” that Christ’s followers were “in the know”. We have the same temptation today, plenty of Christians who promise us God wants us to be successful/powerful/rich, and sell their books to reveal such things to us.

Complaining (murmuring) – Not simply complaining, but blaming God and “grass is greener without God” complex. The people of Israel actually had thoughts of things being better back in Egypt. I’m sure the people of early Christianity often were tempted to complain for the various ways following Christ impacted their life in a new way. We too, are sometimes tempted to focus on how much easier the road would be if we simply followed our emotions or the world’s “logic”. But God calls us to be citizen’s of His Kingdom, transformed/different by new life in Christ.

Thankfully, if we find we’ve been involved in ANY of these lately, or even currently…we have a God who offers to make things NEW daily. 🙂


One response to this post.

  1. I like that complaining is in the same list as idolatry and sexual immorality.

    And by “like”, I mean “am intimidated and seriously challenged by”.


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