Summary: Message 27 in our exposition of 1 Corinthians. This message continues the bad example of Israel in the wilderness and the exhortation to not follow it.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“A Disciplined Life” Part Two
I. Reproof for fleshly behavior 1-6
II. Responses to specific inquiries
A. Concerning marriage 7
B. Concerning the voluntary limitation of Christian liberty 8-11:1
1. To avoid ruining a weaker brother 8:1-13
2. To advance the gospel 9:1-23
3. To avoid losing heavenly reward 9:24-27
4. To avoid displeasing God 10:1-13
a) Israel’s Experience 10:1-5
(1) Israel enjoyed God’s spiritual blessing.1-4
(2) God’s disappointment 5
b) Their bad example for our good education 10:6-12
(1) Don’t be cravers of evil things. vs 6
Sin? They doubted and despised God’s provision. (We’re tired of manna. We want meat!)
Action? They set their heart on the things of the flesh rather than the spirit resulting in unbridled desire and craving.
Punishment? Severe plague immediately broke out among them.
(2) Don’t become idolaters vs 7
Do not become idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY."
Paul referenced the account of their stretch at the foot of Mount Sinai recorded in Ex 32.
Sin? They doubted and rejected God’s absolute authority (it’s taking too long).
Action? Idolatry leading to purposeless revelry.
They rejected God’s care and entrusted their life into the hands of someone else.
They attributed God’s wonderful works to an inanimate statue.
Idolatry is spiritual adultery.
The Corinthians were not strangers to idolatry. Most of them had been saved out of idolatry. Some cited freedom in Christ to continue to indulge in more than meat sacrificed to idols. Many were actually attending the pagan temple meals. Much of Paul’s letter urges distance from anything related to such influence.
(3) Don’t act immorally vs 8
Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
Story found in Numbers 25:1-9
Sin? They doubted and ignored God’s rules for life. (Let’s check out the Moabite women)
Action? They engaged in immorality and self indulgence. (Partied at the Temple of Baal)
Punishment? Death by plague
Idolatry nearly always leads to immorality and sexual perversion before destruction.
The Corinthians would have winced at this example as well.
(4) Don’t try the Lord vs 9
Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
Story found in Numbers 21:4-9
Sin? They doubted and resisted God’s direction. (We’re tired of this journey)
Action? They rebelled, and demanded self determination, testing God to act.
Punishment? Death by snake bite
(5) Don’t grumble vs 10
Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
“Grumble” = to be dissatisfied because of disappointment, mutter, murmur, speak in a low voice, complain.
Story found in Numbers 14:26-32
Israel excelled in the art of grumbling. It was a full time occupation all through the wilderness walk.
Sin? They doubted and discarded God’s promise
Action? They desired ease and comfort resulting in grumbling
Punishment? Massive death in the wilderness and 40 years of aimless wandering.
All of these examples demonstrate the devastation of doubt; failure to really trust God.
All of these actions arose due to their failure to take God at His word and really trust Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Trust His person! Trust His promise! Most all of our sin stems from doubt. We accept a lie of Satan and reject the truth of God. The Israelites failed to enter God’s rest because of their unbelief. Each incident cited here could have been avoided had they affirmed their trust in God.
? God had abundant food in the Promised Land.
? God provided their leader with the necessary truth to build their nation to last.
? God told them not to take foreign women to protect them from idolatry.
? It is the journey that prepares us to experience the promise.
? God always fulfills his promise.
For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:16-19
Too quick we jump ship and determine to make our own way since God is too slow or too mysterious or too insensitive or too hard.
(6) Watch out vs 11-12
Paul warns us to not be like the Israelites who not only doubted God but forfeited their reward.