Warning Against Idolatry

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November 6- Warning Against Idolatry 

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 

The believers in Corinth were surrounded by pagan worship practices such as idolatry. To caution the believers in Corinth from following the pagan practices around them, Paul encouraged them to learn from the past. Paul shared how the Israelites had witnessed and experienced God perform miracles and provide for them. Yet despite all that God had done, most of the Israelites were not fully committed when it came to their relationship with God. Their lack of commitment was revealed when they failed to revere God in the way they should. Their lack of respect and commitment to the Lord led them into sin, including embracing the pagan practice of idolatry (Ex. 32:1-6). Paul, seeing how easy it was for the Israelites to fall into idolatry despite what the Lord had done for them, wanted the Corinthian believers to learn from the Israelites and not make the same mistake. He reminded the Corinthian believers that the Israelites’ story was given to future believers as an example of what not to do, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction…”

Temptation of Idolatry           

The Israelites’ story was not just a warning for the Corinthian believer. All believers must carefully consider the story of the Israelites. None of us are immune to the temptation of sin, including idolatry. Paul warns believers, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” Sadly, many people can probably think of someone they know that, like the Israelites, yielded to the temptation of sin, and as a result experienced the negative consequences of disobedience. To avoid giving into sin, believers must take their relationship with God seriously. When a believer loves God in the way he should, he is also going to hate sin in the way he should. A believer that is committed to following the Lord is going to find the sins of this world less and less appealing as he grows in his relationship with God.  A believer is also going to have the reassurance that God will equip him with a way to resist the temptation of sin because as God’s word teaches, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Each believer should consider his relationship with God carefully because the consequences of half-obedience are serious and the blessing of whole-hearted obedience is invaluable.

How can the Israelites’ story being a warning to all believers?

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