Have you ever noticed how often the Psalter calls us to look back on the past? Many of the Scripture passages in this morning’s bulletin are taken from the Psalter, and each one refers to God’s working out His providence in history. We are called to hear “dark sayings from of old” that our fathers told us and that we should tell our children (Psalm 78). We are reminded that the Lord rescued His people in the past and that His love will endure forever (Psalm 136; Psalm 111). We confess that we learned to rest in His provision from childhood (“when I was on my mother’s breast”), as did our fathers who trusted in His name (Psalm 22). We are told to “number our days,” recalling that our God was a help in ages past and is our only hope for years to come (Psalm 90). This call to reflect on the things God has done extends even to the negative examples, as Paul models for us in 1 Corinthians 10. The unpleasant examples in history speak to the ubiquity of human sinfulness (“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man”), and the unfailing mercy of our God (“He will also provide the way of escape”). As we’ll sing from Psalm 100, “Because the Lord our God is good, His mercy is forever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood and shall from age to age endure.”
—Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Brothers, Fathers, Examples, Idolaters, Instruction, Temptation, Common, Endure
Keystone Verse: These things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
1 Corinthians 10:1-14
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.7 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.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 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. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 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. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.