Learning By Example!
Scripture reading for November 24th: 1st Corinthians 7-10
I chose my life theme from going through Army officer’s leadership school. A key leadership principle that stuck with me was “Set the Example!” I was taught that one of the most powerful influences that a leader can have on others is their example. I find this to be biblical as well. Jesus Christ modeled for us and his disciples the way to live. He lived a life centered on doing God’s will and serving others. The Bible records many examples that are not so good as well. Someone has said, “if you are not good for anything else, you can always be a bad example!” In today’s reading the Apostle Paul reminds the church at Corinth of examples that should help them and us to live a blessed life.
In 1st Corinthians 10, Paul uses the bad examples as warning for us today. There were three main things that Paul exhorted the Corinthians to remember about the Israelites of the Old Testament. They had some great spiritual experiences with the Lord leading them by the cloud and fire and taking them through the Red Sea in a type of baptism. They got to eat “manna” from heaven and drink water from the “Rock” for forty years while they wandered in the desert. They had God’s appointed leader, Moses, praying for them. However, God was not pleased with them! (1st Corinthians 10:1-5)
In spite of being supernaturally delivered by God from idolatrous Egypt, many of them brought their idols with them! They were taught by God to be true to their wives and to Him, but many were sexually immoral as they worshiped these idols and lived in fleshly indulgence. Most grumbled against God and His provision and died from the bite of poisonous snakes and by the destroying angel of death that they had opened the door to. Their hearts were not right with God in spite of all the supernatural power that they witnessed. They thought they were alright with God because of God’s blessings. They became examples for us!
We should learn from their example. (1st Corinthians 10:8-10) They did not keep God first. Idolatry and sexual immorality always go hand in hand. America is a land of idols! Sports stars, entertainment figures, soap operas, movie stars, popular music stars and the like all serve as idols. We are sexually immoral and glorify sexual freedom that mocks God and His word because we are idolatrous! The church is even full of idolatrous behavior and sexual immorality!
Grumbling against God because of unbelief was also a characteristic of the Israelites. That grumbling kept them out of the land of promise and got a whole generation killed off in the desert. The destroying angel, Satan, killed them because of their greed, idolatry, and sexually perversion. These examples should warn us today and drive us to Christ Jesus. He is our escape from sin, death and temptation. He is always faithful and delivers those who depend on Him!