A Scar On History [1 Corinthians 10:1-10]

1For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 8We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

What God did for "our forefathers" was beyond amazing. Not only was God visibly present day and night watching over them and guiding them,but they experienced God's awesome power as a community year after year. So of course they were amazingly spiritual and loved the Lord! Sadly, according to Paul, most of them set their hearts on evil or worthless things and suffered God's wrath with "their bodies scattered over the desert."  What a awful story!  Why did Paul even bring this story up?  He said that "these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did." What happened to God's chosen people in the desert is written as a warning to you and me. The word 'example' can also be translated as a scar. Just as a scar can serve as a reminder to avoid whatever you did to get that scar, what happened to the Israelites in the desert is a scar on history to remind us not to do as they did.

By God's grace, may you avoid the worthless things that lead to destruction and remember to focus on God's love and power provided to you through the spiritual rock, Christ.
Beth Warlick, 11/25/2008