Don't Go There
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall—1 Corinthians 10:6-12.
To some, this is a frightening passage that comes with significant conviction and fear if the one reading it is indulging in sin. And rightfully so. It basically is saying God’s patience has limits. The infinite God has finite patience. This is truly scary thought! But it’s not intended to leave you there frightened and wondering; the intent is for sin to be recognized, confessed to the Lord, repented from, and then doing whatever is necessary to prevent from falling into that particular sin again.
This finite patience is what Paul is referring to in verse nine, “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents.” The verse is a reference to Numbers 21 where the Israelites became impatient with God and spoke out against Him and Moses saying, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness . . .” God responded to the sin of grumbling and complaining by sending fiery serpents that bit the people and many thousands died.
What’s the point of that? Well, you can’t keep sinning and expect God to just look the other way. He won’t and really, He can’t. His holiness demands perfection and justice requires a payment. If that weren’t true, Jesus wouldn’t be coming again to judge those who haven’t repented. But the Bible says He will, so there is a limit to His patience in waiting for justice to be served.
If you think just because you prayed a prayer once upon a time, you’re just fine to pursue the things of this world, (like grumbling and complaining) or try God’s patience; think again. Because at best, He’s going to discipline you (and that hurts), or He’s going to punish you because you’re not really saved.
One of the most obvious ways humans sin is grumbling and complaining. The above passage shows what God thinks of that. Further, 1 John 3:6 says, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” How many times do we knowingly grumble or complain knowing it’s wrong. What does that say about my faith? Yes, it’s pretty convicting, isn’t it?
So, whether it’s about the weather, the food, your boss, your pastor, your job, or your husband; it’s sin. And God won’t ignore it. So if you’re prone to complaining, don’t. Don’t go there. If you are there already, just stop.
How many of my words are grumbling and complaining word?
How about my thought life? How much grumbling and complaining goes on that no ones but God hears?
Prayer – Father, forgive me for the sins I allow in my life, especially grumbling and complaining. I realize when I grumble that I say what You allow in my life me isn’t right. But I know that all You allow is for my eventual good and Your eternal glory. Thank You for Your patience with me when I am careless and complacent. Help me to rest in the promises of Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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