Reading: 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13
Paul opens chapter ten reviewing the sins of the Israelites out in the desert. It was a time of God’s constant presence in the cloud and pillar of fire, yet the people must have gotten used to having Him around. They stumbled in a number of ways, sometimes repeatedly – idolatry, overindulgence in food and drink, sexual immorality, testing or doubting God. Paul uses this review lesson as a way to mirror the sins of the church in Corinth. As we read these sins, we realize they are still common to man in 2016 and perhaps some are even common to us.
Even though God physically was present to the Israelites, they wandered. As we fast forward to today, we now have the living presence of God present to us in the Holy Spirit. At times we too can pretend to not hear that little voice in our head or we can shrug off that little nudge that we felt. Paul issues a warning that applies to us as well: if we feel we are standing firm, be careful that we do not fall.
In this season of Lent, a time of introspection and repentance, let us look hard at our lives. We may not make golden calves to worship, but are we freely generous with our resources and time? We may stay away from overindulgence, but do we treat our bodies as temples? We may not engage in affairs, but does our eye occasionally wander? And then there is gossip, envy, judging, laziness, …
All is not lost or hopeless. Paul also reminds us that God is faithful. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will provide a way out. As we consider the state of our soul this day, may we be willing to use the strength God offers and may we follow the way He provides, lest we too fall.