Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our reading from 1 Corinthians 10:6-13 centers on a handful of times when the people of Israel violated God’s commands and found themselves under the fierce displeasure of their Lord. We are well warned by these situations. Yet we should ask ourselves if there is an underlying principle. Then we can understand not only not to enter into those particular sins, but we can also see how God would enable us in a righteous life.
The common theme which ties all these troubles together is fairly simple. In each instance, the people of Israel chose to think of themselves as superior in some way to God. They trusted in their wisdom, their strength, their ability to discern good and evil, their desires, and their understanding of what is right and wrong. In each instance, the human way which God’s people chose to follow led them directly into sin, condemnation, and shame.
What are our desires? All that are not within the will of God are desires that Jesus has already given his life for. All that would bring us the glare of God’s displeasure are already atoned for, as Jesus cried out to His Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The death we deserve was served up to Jesus. The life he deserved has been served up to us.
At the end of our passage we are reminded that we should expect temptation. But with that temptation to sin, God has given us a means of escape, through trust in Jesus. Our help is in the name of the Lord. We look to him, not to ourselves. In him is life.
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