Summary: That if you know God you will respond in faith and obedience or suffer the consequences.
SERMON: February 28, 2016
RESPONSIBILITY AND CONSEQUENCES
1 Cor 10: 1-13
Old Testament Examples
1 “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3 all ate the same spiritual food,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’
8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;
9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;
10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Sometimes you may read a difficult Bible passage. You read it again and you think about it and you think again and then you put it away to study it later. Eventually you may be tempted to give up studying it!
You really do not understand what it is about.
This passage COULD be one of those for you, I don’t know, so if it is, let me try to open it up for us all.
The writers of the Translation for Translators Bible say this about this passage:
“Our Jewish ancestors all experienced God's power, but almost all of them died in the desert because they sinned against him.”
(Translation for Translators, p.1283 “QUOTATION TAKEN FROM A TRANSLATION FOR TRANSLATORS, © 2008 BY ELLIS W. DEIBLER, JR. USED BY PERMISSION.” Copyright © 2008-2014 Ellis W. Deibler, Jr.) (The whole Bible is just over 11 Mb!)
The master of understatement rides again, or I should say WRITES again.
“I am not ashamed” says the Apostle Paul, “of the gospel of Christ.”
What he means is that he boasts in Christ, in Rom 1:16.
There are several “I am… statements” Paul makes:
“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle”
He says this even though he was in fact the Lord’s appointed leader of the Gentile Church! In Acts 9:15 God says Paul was “a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”
Yes, understatement is a characteristic of the Apostle.
It comes out again when he writes to the Christians living in Corinth,
“But with MOST of them God was not well pleased.” (1 Cor 10:5)
Every part of the sentence is an understatement.
Most of them? Well, 23,000 people died!
And if God was “not well pleased,” you do not want to be around when He is angry! Let alone when He is furious!
23,000 people! IMAGINE!
When God was “not well pleased” with them, He sent poisonous snakes among the people to bite them!
He sent “the destroyer” to, guess what?, destroy some of them.
Well, even if it was only one incident that the Apostle was referring to, and I think it was more than one, there was a very severe outcome!
Why was God so tough on these people?
Because He loved them!
What? But God left so many of them dead in the wilderness, Ray!
Twenty Three (23) thousand of them (v. 8) in one day!
But He sent them snakes, Ray, and destroyed them!
Many were destroyed! How terrible was that?
As the Apostle Peter says “…it would have been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandments…” (2 Pet 2:21)
What we need to remember is that these people were not just any old people; not at all, there was NO randomness about it. They were God’s people!
They belonged to God because of God’s love for them. God chose them from among the nations. Out of Egypt. (Ex 6:6-7)