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WARNINGS FROM HISTORY

July 26, 2014

My blog for today is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 with the main focus on verses 11-13. Using the Message Bible, it reads, “Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased. The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them. These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”

First, let me share some background information. Corinth, a mecca for international trade was known to be the wealthiest and most corrupted city in Greece; and it was here during his second missionary journey that Paul ministered for eighteen months and founded a church. Several years after his departure from Corinth Paul receives alarming information concerning the church. Some of the words used to describe the church at Corinth were: defiled, divided and disgraced. In response to the discouraging reports and many problems that arose among the brethren, Paul who is now in Ephesus pens two letters to the church in hopes that it will provide clarity, instruction, and correction. The content of chapter 10 is found in the first letter.

In chapter 10:1-4 Paul discusses the forty year wilderness experience of Israel, the privileges given to them by God and their displeasing responses. In verses 6-10 he shares Israel’s downfall by their engagement in idolatry, immorality, and murmuring against God. Finally to the key verses of this blog, verses 11-13, Paul states this letter is not only for the Corinthian church but to admonish and encourage future believers.

If you take a moment and meditate on this scripture, I am sure you will obtain vital principles that are applicable to your life. Here is a list of principles I gathered:
1. As I witness and hear the life stories of others, I must glean and learn from them.
2. People have similar experiences: victories and failures.
3. Don’t take God’s grace and mercies for granted they may not always be available.
4. My display of ingratitude will cut my blessings
5. Choose God’s way over my way; my way can lead to disaster.
6. Look out for danger signs; they are present for a reason.
7. Temptation is not limited to a particular age group; everyone is tempted.
8. God does not exempt believers from temptations, but He makes temptations manageable and conquerable.

With all that is going on in the world and my life, the study of this passage has been helpful for me. I pray that for you it has done the same and that you will also heed the warnings from history.

 

 

 

 

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