Facing Down Temptation
Lord, thank You that You perfect all we commit to You. It is perfectly safe to leave everything in Your hands.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
What are the consequences of sin?
Paul focuses on the theological problem at the heart of the Corinthians' conduct: it is a sin against God to participate in pagan acts of worship. He turns to the Old Testament account of the Israelites in the wilderness, found in Exodus and Numbers, for an example.
The spiritual experiences of the Israelites have parallels with those of the Corinthians. The Israelites benefited from God's care: they were "baptized" into God's people, ate and drank God's food, and experienced his presence (2-4). Verse 5 is the shocker: despite this care, the Israelites were struck down because of sin. Notice the relationship between the Israelites' sins and the Corinthians' conduct: the Israelites engaged in idolatry, their revelry involved food, and they tested God (7-10; cf. Exod. 32:1-6; Num. 25:1-9; 16:41).
Sin has its consequences, and anyone who persists in sin will experience those consequences. Yet this passage ends with a promise. Your temptation is not new (13). Others have experienced it, too. Nor is it beyond the strength of God in your life. No matter how strongly you are tempted, there is a way out. You need to ask God to show you the way, and then take it.
Ask God to show you the way out of temptation, and for his grace to strengthen you as you follow that way.
Lord, You are the motivation of my heart. I want to live in the way that pleases You.