Biblical wisdom is amazing! You can’t beat instruction from God Himself! Unfortunately, if you don’t read the Bible, you’ll never find it! Besides the Word of God — all Scripture — being “God-Breathed”, is the best advice we could get on how to live our lives no matter what life throws at us. In today’s lesson, the Apostle Paul tackles two controversial topics for his day — temptation and idolatry. He brings up Moses and the Jews traveling through the wilderness. Why? Because we learn from history! We see the mistakes people in the past made and we’re supposed to learn from them so we don’t make the same mistakes! Why can’t or don’t we learn? Certainly, it has to do with pride — yes one of the 7 Deadly Sins.
Pride gets in our way all the time. We, of course, know better. We can overcome it. There’s nothing we can’t do! We can handle it!
Unfortunately, that is not how God wants us to handle life. He wants us to depend on HIM and HIM ONLY! Let’s see what Paul has to say…
1 Corinthians 10
I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2 In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. 3 All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7 or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” [Exodus 32:6] 8 And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
9 Nor should we put Christ (the Lord) to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. 11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. 16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?
23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
25 So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” [Psalm 24:1]
27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. 33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.1 Corinthians 10 NLT
So, What Did We Learn Here?
When facing temptation…
- Know that you are not alone. It’s the price of life. Many who have gone before you have likewise been tempted.
- God is faithful. He’ll never abandon you. He’s on call 24/7! (That’s one of the Benefits of Salvation!)
- Whatever the temptation is, it will be bearable. Ask God for the strength to overcome it. That’s what the Holy Spirit is for!
- There’s always a way out! Find the exit! Ask God to lead you.
A wise pastor once said…
The best way to overcome temptation is to avoid it in the first place!Pastor Scott Pixler
Demons are Behind ALL Idolatry!
When reading the Bible from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, you can’t help but get the idea that God absolutely HATES idolatry! Idols — and they can come in ALL forms — take your eyes away from JESUS! And it’s all about JESUS!
If you’re praying to Mary or any of the saints, you’re taking your focus away from JESUS.
If you’re focused on making money above all else, you’re taking your eyes off JESUS.
If you’re obsessed with or addicted to celebrities, social media, partying, drugs, booze, gambling, food, hey, anything of this world, you’re not focusing on JESUS.
If you’re facing ANY questionable activity, ask yourself….
- Does it build me up in my faith?
- Does it glorify God?
Pretty simple, huh? Well, it all does take something on your part first….