1 Corinthians 10:6-11 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. NKJV
Paul concluded the last part of his 1st letter to these Corinthian believers with this thought and concept as we declared it in this manner from the last study, “Paul warns them and us that our Lord Jesus sees and knows the truth about the true spiritual condition of every person or soul who professes faith in Him (Matthew 7:21-23). Our Lord Jesus Christ did not accept or validate the faith of the majority of the people of Israel and so He destroyed the entire “major portion” in the wilderness.” Paul is writing to these Corinthian believers and to us today recounting the faithless and ungodly rebellion that permeated the hearts of the “majority portion” of the people of Israel that were brought out of slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt supernaturally by God as if He were erecting a huge neon sign in the sky pleading with those Corinthian believers and us to heed His warnings and use this documented real history as our example to make our election and calling sure. Paul not only writes to inform them and us that God the Father desires to warn us, but he mentions or list the specific evil things the Corinthian believers and us are to be warned against lusting after.
More importantly it was not the ultimate outward acts or things the “major portion” of the people of Israel craved for, but it was their moaning, griping, and complaining and not being thankful to God the Father for what He supernaturally provided for them to sustain them and keep them alive in the wilderness. Instead of being on their faces continually thanking God for bringing them out of slavery in Egypt they complained about the “manna” or the bread from heaven God rained down for them to eat each and every day. Here is how Moses documented their evil lusting’s and God’s response, “Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them. The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, ‘Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.’” (Numbers 11:1-6).
Imagine these former slaves (who have now been set free from bondage) complaining against their Deliverer (Christ Jesus our Lord) who set them free out of His Pure Unconditional Love for them and their way to show their love and gratitude is to complain. Paul has already written in this 1st letter to these Corinthian believers rebuking them for their sexual immorality and the boasting they carried on while one in their midst was willfully living in such open rebellion and now this part of the letter is meant to drive home the warnings of all that he has written previously about the immoral sex practice, the envy, the strife, and the dissensions among them. Paul wants them and us to not be deceived into believing that a mere profession of faith is sufficient to secure eternal life, but to show them that eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ is a free gift given by Him to a non-deserving sinner, but that His Faith given produces a life of faith and trust and obedience to His Word without concerns of the consequences that may be brought on from the unbelieving world, therefore, Paul says, “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved” (1 Corinthians 10:6).
The first example Paul recounts was the instance when the people made a golden calf in Moses absence and raised it up as their god to be worshipped, as Paul declares with these words, “Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play’” (1 Corinthians 10:7). God the Father was about to destroy them right then and there on the spot but because Moses interceded for them He did not do so at that time (Exodus 32:6-14). The second example Paul recounts for them and us was when the people joined themselves in sexual immorality with the daughters of Moab (Numbers 25:1-9). This is why Paul was so stern in his rebuking these Corinthian believers for their allowing a man to commit sexual immorality with his own father’s wife because he was aware of how the LORD was so angry over what the people of Israel did that he sent a plague that wiped out over 20,000 people instantly. This is why Paul concluded that section of his letter rebuking them with this command, “But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13).
The third example Paul recounts for them and us is when these former slaves tempted or tested our Lord Jesus Christ as it is written by Moses with these words, “Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, ‘Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’” (Exodus 17:1-3). Paul here documents for the Corinthian believers and us another clear example of the faithlessness and their distrust of the LORD who had not only delivered them from captivity as slaves, but also had provided for their every need along their journey and yet they still tested the LORD with their distrust and they continually vented their anger against Moses (God’s Mouth piece). The LORD again had enough and as documented by Moses this is what He did, “The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (Numbers 21:6).
Now the fourth and final example Paul recounts for them and us is when the people constantly and continually griped, moaned, and complained over their circumstances all the while forgetting that the LORD had freed them from enslavement. They complained constantly when they should have been pouring out of their hearts (if they truly trusted the LORD) with love and gratitude for His Graciousness to them out of pure compassion. Moses has already documented some of their many complaints in the passages we have already listed above, but here is what the LORD said to Moses after these people griped and complained again, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they’” (Numbers 14:11-12).
Moses again intercedes but despite his intercession this was the LORD’s response to Moses, “The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. ‘Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me” (Numbers 14:26-29). And so did it happen just as the LORD spoke in the hearing of Moses, every person died in the wilderness that grumbled and complained and Paul wanted the Corinthian believers and us to be warned of all four of these offenses to God that these people committed as if they were exempt from punishment. Paul declared to them and declares to us that we must let these words sink down deep into our hearts and minds and be warned and understand fully and heed the words of the writer of Hebrews when he wrote, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
“Consider the privileges of the Chosen People. The cloud of divine guidance led them. The Red Sea, like a grave, lay between them and the land of bondage. They ate daily of the heavenly manna and drank of the water that gushed from the rock. But all these are types of spiritual blessings which await us in Christ. His grave lies between us and the world; His guidance is ours; we daily feed on His life and help. Let us take heed that we do not, like Israel, allow Moab to cast the witchery of sensual indulgence over us, lest we excite God’s displeasure. Let us not tempt the Lord by murmuring or distrust. Let us ever live worthily of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” F. B. Meyer
“God’s gift of salvation is given with complete freedom to us rebellious sinners. He brings us out of captivity to sin and its crippling enslavement it holds us in. This great loving, merciful, and kind Act of God for our good and His Glory should engender, generate, bring forth, breed, or spawn only love and gratitude from us to Him with a desire to be obedient to His Word.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…