Written For Our Admonition 1 Cor. 10: 1-13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, many of them were overthrown because they fell into sin. The things that were recorded in the Old Testament, about them, were written for our admonition so that we wouldn’t fall as a result of the same sins. In comparing their examples to us, Paul first showed how they all had the same “start” but not all of them lived to the fulness of their days. Likewise, as children of God by the new birth, we all have the same “start” but some of our lives are cut short because of sin.
Notice, first, how the Jews at the Exodus typify Christians at the new birth – 1 Cor 10:1-4
They were all under the cloud – Ex 13:21-22 – the cloud never left them on the entire wilderness journey. Likewise, the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us [Heb 13:5].
All passed through the sea – Ex 14:29-30 – they all made it through the Red Sea. Likewise, we have all passed from death unto life [Jn 5:24].
All were baptized [in the cloud and in the sea] – Ps 106:9-10 – there are seven baptisms in the Bible and this is one of the seven. Likewise, we have all been baptized by the Spirit of God into the body of Christ [1 Cor 12:13], another of the seven baptisms.
They all ate the same spiritual meat – Ex 16:35 – this meat was manna, which sustained them through the entire wilderness journey. Likewise, we have all eaten of the bread of life [Jn 6:35].
They all drank the same spiritual drink – Ex 17:6; Num 20:80-13; Deut 32:3-4, 30-31 – this drink was water out of the Rock, Jesus Christ. Likewise, we have all drunk the water of Jesus Christ [Jn 4:14; 7:37-39].
Notice, second, that despite all having the same “salvation” they didn’t all make it through the wilderness [1 Cor 10:5]. Likewise, our new birth doesn’t guarantee that our lives won’t be cut short because of sin. Those with whom God was not well pleased were overthrown. The Lord can cut your life short, too [Rom 8:13]. Thus, we have been admonished:
Not to lust after evil things – 1 Cor 10:6 – see Num 11:4-6, 31-34 where the Jews lusted for the food in Egypt because they were tired of the manna and many died. See 1 Jn 2:15-17 where we are warned against the same thing.
Not to commit idolatry – 1 Cor 10:7 – see Ex 32:6, 28 where many committed idolatry by worshipping the golden calf and 3,000 died. See Col 3:5-6 where we are warned against the same thing [1 Jn 5:21].
Not to commit fornication – 1 Cor 10:8 – see Num 25:1-9 where many committed fornication with the Midianites and 24,000 died (23,000 in one day). See 1 Cor 6:18 where we are warned against the same thing.
Not to tempt Christ – 1 Cor 10:9 – see Num 21:4-6 where many spoke against the Lord because he had brought them out of Egypt, and they loathed the manna and were discouraged. See Heb 12:15 where we are warned against the same thing.
Not to murmur – 1 Cor 10:10 – see Num 14:2 where many murmured against the Lord at the report of the spies. See Phil 2:14-15 where we are warned against the same thing.
Not to think we can stand – 1 Cor 10:11-12 – Paul wasn’t talking about losing your salvation. He warned against falling to temptation when you think you are strong enough to keep from falling. A good example is Peter’s adamance before his temptation and fall [Matt 26:33-35].
We have beed admonished, rather, to escape. God has prepared a way, in his faithfulness, for us to escape when we are tempted. Jesus escaped every temptation that he faced [Heb 4:15]. We can follow his example for the way to escape when we are tempted. When we are tempted, we should:
Flee – as in 1 Cor 10:14 and as in 1 Cor 6:18. When you flee, though you have been tempted, you escape.
Believe the truth – as in Lk 4:4. See Jn 8:32, 36. Temptation is often a lie. So, believing the truth keeps you from falling for the lie.
Keep our eyes single – Matt 6:22-23. When you look at things the way that God wants you to see them, you are not fooled into looking at them the way the devil wants you to see them. When you see them God’s way, you can escape their temptation.
And if you fall to temptation, then remember to confess your sins according to 1 Jn 1:9, because God is faithful to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.