We’re continuing our look at the example of Israel. The way they served God in the wilderness should be a sign to us of how NOT to do it.
There are three specific characteristics that Paul wants us to beware of.
We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did — and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did — and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did — and were killed by the destroying angel.
1 Corinthians 10:8-10
The first thing that you need to know is that we’re now under God’s grace. I’m very glad that I was born on this side of the cross of Christ. We don’t have to worry about plagues and destroying angels anymore.
On the other hand, just because God won’t immediately judge us, doesn’t change how strongly the Lord feels about these sins. Participating in these activities is displeasing to God. Our goal should be to live a life that’s well-pleasing before Him.
The first thing listed is sexual immorality. I guess nothing changes. That’s probably the biggest area in which Christians refuse to change.
This covers all sexual activity outside of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Even pornography is included in this.
This is a huge stronghold in the lives of many believers, yet not many people talk about it. Maybe they’re afraid that they may lose church members or followers. But I can’t just gloss over it, because some of your future rewards depend upon the purity of your walk before God.
The next issue he talks about is testing the Lord. This problem was recorded in the book of Numbers, chapter 21. It was all about the people being impatient with the Lord.
When we pray, we want the answer right now. With Israel, it got to the point where they accused God of sending them into the desert to die. They also told Him that they hated the manna that God was providing for them.
Don’t fall into the trap of becoming impatient as you wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled. It will develop ungratefulness for the things that the Lord is already doing in your life. Rest assured that the Lord will fulfill His plan in you.
Finally, there’s a temptation for us to grumble about where we are in life. This word means to speak a complaint in almost inaudible tones.
That’s something that used to really bother me as a pastor. Someone would approach me and say something like, “Brother Joe is mad at you and has now left the church. You need to talk to him. He’s telling everybody mean things about you.”
The funny thing is that when I called Joe, he tells me, “Oh Pastor Nick, I’m not mad at you. Who would say that about me? I love your ministry. I haven’t been in church because I have to take care of some family issues.”
Grumbling is when you voice your complaints to people who aren’t a part of either the problem or the solution. You’re just looking for someone to tell you that you’re right and the other person is wrong.
Unfortunately, grumbling will open the door to the attack of the enemy. Don’t give any ground to the devil.
The example of Israel is a negative one. But they show us certain activities that the Lord hates. He won’t kill you with a lightning bolt from heaven. But your ministry will be hindered until you repent.
Question: Why is the walk of purity better, even though it’s a tougher road?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi