Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 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.
This is part of Paul's warning against idolatry. He gives us vague examples of people in the Bible that were following the Lord then fell into sin and were led astray. The Israelites back in Exodus, heard God's words and saw works of divine power, but still chose not truly follow God. "The cloud" refers to an actual cloud that God used to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 13:17-22). "All passed through the sea" refers to God parting the Red Sea, letting the Israelites pass through raised waters on dry land to escape the Egyptians pursuing them (Exodus 14:1-31). God closed the waters over the Egyptians and killed them. Paul uses the the cloud and water as diagrams of being baptized. "Spiritual food" refers to the bread from heaven God provided called Manna (Exodus 16)and the "spiritual drink" refers to the water that came out of a rock to quench their thirst (Exodus 17:1-7 & Numbers 20:2-13).
Can you imagine such events? A cloud directing you to the right location? A large sea being divided, with walls of water on each side of you as you pass through them on dry ground? Bread falling out of the sky when you were starved? Water supernaturally coming out of a rock when you were parched? And yet, there were some who still did not believe! Does that not sound crazy? Today, we don't see things like these specific examples happen, but we do see the hand of God at work- and yet WE choose not to believe. We also see God deliver us from one thing to the next, yet when another circumstance arises that is out of our control, we forget how God delivered us from the past experiences. Why do we so quickly forget how good our God is???? How many times does God have to 'prove Himself' to you before you will completely trust in Him?
So if you think you got it all together- be on guard. Your pride may be the things that causes you to fall. Temptation exists. YOU WILL BE TEMPTED. In that moment, will you choose to surrender to the temptation, or surrender to God? God ALWAYS provides a way out. He never wants you to give in to temptation. Call out to him when you are being tempted- walk away from the temptation- RUN from the temptation. The Lord has given you an opportunity to escape- do it.
God was not pleased with some of the Israelites because they, after seeing all that God had done, engaged in idolatry, sexual immorality and other sin rather than worshipping God. They turned their back on all God had done for them. Do you worship God one day, then the next go out and knowingly sin? To the Israelites, God punished them to death. Today, God does not put us to death for our sin, but He does send us to eternal hell if we choose not to repent of our sin and follow Him with all that we are. Following Jesus doesn't mean you can go to church on Sunday and sin the other days of the week. Going to church does not save you. Repentance and a relationship with Jesus does.
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
The cup and table of the Lord refers to the communion table. Paul is using this imagery to better show his warning. This goes back to the paragraph prior- do you worship God on Sunday then "partake" in sin other days of the week. Don't get me wrong, we are all sinners, and we will sin. But is their evidence in your life that you love Jesus? (John 14:15)- If you love me, you will obey my commandments. If you knowingly engage in sin and are not trying to live a holy life, then you are "drinking the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons." You are choosing Satan some days and Jesus other days. Do you call yourself saved? I would question the reality of your relationship with Him if you are living this life. I was there- not too long ago. I called myself a Christian. I went to church. I led worship at church! I even read my Bible- yet I was not willing to stop living the sinful life I was living. I didn't see it as sinful at the time. But HELL-O, isn't the Bible clear on the very things that are sinful? How wasn't it more clear to me? At one point I knew it was sin, but I wasn't "ready" to give Him all of me- I still wanted to control most of it. "YOU CANNOT PARTAKE OF THE TABLE OF THE LORD AND THE TABLE OF DEMONS." In Revelation 3:15-16 it says, I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." God is a jealous God- He will not accept a lukewarm follower. He wants ALL of you, not some of you. He wants you to love Him, trust Him and obey Him. YOU WILL BE BLESSED by loving, trusting and obeying Him. TRUST ME. If you haven't read my testimony- read My Transformation
A good sermon to listen to today is John 14:15-31 at https://www.handstotheplow.org/.It was preached on December 18th 2011. Enjoy!
Father, thank you that you are an awesome God, who split the sea for the Israelites, who poured bread out of heaven, water from a rock and guided the Israelites with a cloud. Lord, You are still that magnificent even today. May You show each of us how amazing You are! Let it be our testimony of how You delivered us! May we fully devote ourselves to You Jesus. May we not we lukewarm. May we not partake with You and demons. Forgive us if we have been. Show us a new life in You. May we love, trust and obey You all the days of our life. Amen.