1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – Testing

Time in the Scriptures

Pray:  For insight into your own life.

Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Today’s reading raises serious questions about God and about us:

About God: Paul says “These [acts of mass judgment] happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us… .” Some of these stories are horrific – see, for example, Numbers 25, where God praises Eleazer for spearing together a man and woman who are having illicit sex. Is God being at all fair here? Is it right to punish thousands to serve as an example to others? How do you deal with the difference between God as described in Numbers and God as described by Jesus?

About us: Examine yourself with respect to the four specific sins Paul lists: idolatry (treating anything or anyone as more important than God); sexual immorality (including lustful thoughts and treating others as objects of desire rather than children of God); testing Christ (the example, from Numbers 21, refers to the people questioning God’s leadership); or complaining (complaining is a sin? During the Exodus, the complaints are constant, and they reveal a lack of faith—though, as the psalms teach us, if you have a complaint it’s better to talk it out with God than to pretend it’s not there). Is God calling you to repentance?

“The ends of the ages have come.” Paul sees the church as standing at a unique time in history—between the old age (before Christ’s sacrifice) and the new age (when God’s kingdom will be fully revealed). We still live in this “in between,” uncomfortable time, when God’s kingdom is revealed in Christ yet hidden from the world at large.

Verses 12 and 13 warn us all to be aware of the reality of temptation and the truth that it can be overcome. Examine yourself in light of these verses.

Intercessory Prayer

Pray for those who view God as a cruel judge – and for those who believe there are no consequences to their actions.

Caring through Action

Our text mentions God’s provision of food; how might you take part in God’s providing food to the hungry today?

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