learn from history
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Read Exodus 32:6-8, 17- 18 and Numbers 11:4, 31-34, to see Israel’s penchant for insatiable cravings and idolatry, and God’s response to His people’s behavior.
What warning should you recall when you’re tempted to participate in idolatry, sexual immorality, and grumbling against God? How have you been set free?
According to federal education officials, US students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject. The test revealed that most fourth-graders were unable to say why well-known president Abraham Lincoln was an important figure, and few high school seniors were able to identify China as the North Korean ally that fought US troops in the Korean War. The failure of a people to know their history and to learn from it can position them to repeat past mistakes.
That’s what Paul communicated to the Corinthians when he encouraged them to learn from the example of ancient Israel. Having been set free from the slavery of sin and viewing themselves as privileged, the Corinthians assumed God would not discipline them for consorting with idols. To bring them back to reality, Paul cited the wilderness generation of Israel. Though Israel experienced supernatural deliverance, divine provisions, and the presence of God, He severely disciplined them for violating their covenant obligations—one of which was to serve Him exclusively (Exodus 20:2-3). Like Israel, the Corinthians supposed their spiritual standing before God—and corresponding freedom—gave them license to participate in pagan feasts. But they were wrong! Israel’s historic fall was a direct warning to the Corinthians.
Like ancient Israel and the Corinthians, we’ve been set free from the slavery of our past and have been set on a journey toward the Promised Land. As we walk exclusively with our heavenly Father, let’s be careful to learn from the examples of the past and be responsible with our Christian freedom, refusing to crave the pleasures of our old lives, worship things, be sexually immoral, grumble against the plan and purpose of God, and speak rebelliously against His appointed leaders (1 Corinthians 10:6).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Kings 5:1-27
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