Things for our Example[1]

I Cor. 10:1-13


Verse 1-4 - All these people had the same blessings of God available to them.  Verse 5-10 explains what they did with their blessings.  Verse 10-13 states that we need to be careful lest these things happen to us.


Notice what happened to the Israelites when they fell into the following sins.


Verse 6 - Lust - Numbers 11:4-6 - Not sexual lust, but lust after fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic.  These became evil things, not because they were evil in themselves, but because the people desired these things above the things God provided.  Number 11:34 - the result of the lusting.  They buried the people that lusted.  Some have died because they have taken the Lord’s Supper incorrectly.


Verse 7 - Idolatry - Exodus 32:1-6 - The people sat down - a deliberate action.  Note that they saw Moses go toward Matt. Sinai with the other leaders. They saw the clouds upon the mountain, but they didn’t seek after God, or Moses.  They didn’t send anyone to look for God or Moses.  This is the way we are today.  We complain that we can’t find God, yet we don’t seek His face.  Also notice it didn’t take them very long to forget God.  It doesn’t take us very long either.  Result, they ate the calf  verse 20, Plagues - verse 34,35.


Verse 8 - Fornication - Numbers 25:1-9 - Spiritual fornication will always lead to physical fornication.  This is because a person who knows God and knows that God is with them and watching them will keep himself pure physically.  The worship of idols often involves physical fornication and adultery.  The person who doesn’t know God is with them and who doesn’t know that God is watching him will allow himself to be overcome with physical sins.

1.      Numbers 25:14,15 - Notice the importance of the people guilty of committing fornication.  Also notice the courage of Phinehas who did right in killing the two.  (He did so at God’s command.  Today we exclude these people from our churches.)

2.      Numbers 25:6 - Notice the brazenness of the fornicators.  They sin in the sight of those who are seeking God.  It’s still so today.  Result 24,000 died.

3.      James 2:2 - Don’t prefer the rich and famous to the poor and needy.


Verse 9 - Tempting Christ - Numbers 24:4-9.  Tempting Christ is doubting that Christ is able to do what He said He would do.  Speaking against God is the same as speaking against His leaders or their purpose in leadership, Numbers 25:5.  They had to get right with Moses before they could get right with God.  Actually, it was Moses who prayed for them that they might be right with God, and that they wouldn’t be punished.  Notice that God didn’t remove the problem, but He gave them a way that they might overcome the problem  (This thought refers back to I Cor. 10:13.)  God does exactly the same thing for us.  He doesn’t necessarily remove our problems, but he always gives us grace to overcome.


Verse 10 - Murmuring.  This is defined at continually complaining or to lodge or live with complaining.

Ex. 15:24 - Israel complains to Moses, “What shall we drink?”

Ex. 16: 2 - Israel complains to Moses and Aaron, “What shall we eat?”

Ex. 17:3 - Israel complains against Moses again, thirsty again.

The mixed multitude was part of the reason Israel murmured against God and His leaders.

See Exodus 12:38 and Numbers 11:4.


I Cor. 10:11 - Our admonition and our example.

I Cor. 10:12 - Doesn’t mean that we will fall if we think we stand, but rather that if we put confidence in our standing, we probably will fall.  We do not need to look at what we have done, but look ahead and trust God to keep us right with God.

[1] I added these things to the outline I preached 4/22/01 IBC Sunday Morning.  I have been out of state in conferences lately, and I see more clearly than ever my responsibility of being the kind of leader God expects me to be.  My past doesn’t assure future success in God’s army.  Last Sunday I preached from Isaiah 58 (See also Jeremiah 2 {I didn’t preach this chapter, but it is good – Just 20 years after Jeremiah preached Jeremiah 2, Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem captive}, concerning how Judah did the external things to seek God, but didn’t do the “heart” things in seeking God.  I am afraid we are often filled with pride about our morality, our way of living to earnestly see our unfitness for the kingdom of God and our need of Jesus Christ.  I am afraid we are often too busy with the things of this world to seek God.  I am afraid we look too much to this world, and are too influenced by the world to see our weakness and our great need of God.  I am afraid that looking after the things of this world doesn’t leave us enough time to really seek God, not the things of God, but God Almighty and His everlasting mercies toward us, our families, our church, our community, and our nation.