1 Corinthians 10
1. I do not want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our fathers in the desert long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.
God sent a cloud like an umbrella to protect them from the heat and to show them the way to go. We need to pay attention to God’s covering and not step out from under the umbrella. We should only go where the cloud goes.
Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. Exodus 33:15
2. They were all baptized as followers of Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
When we are put under the waters of baptism we are showing that we died to our old way of life. Paul is saying that going into the Red Sea was like baptism, showing that they were dead to Egypt and were now living under God’s covering.
3. All of them ate the same spiritual food,
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. Exodus 16:4
4. and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock and that rock was Christ.
The Jews had a story that there was a rock that followed them through the desert and gave them water. Paul uses their idea to show them that there really and was a rock and His name is Jesus.
5. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
The Lord told the people that they would stay in the desert for forty years because they did not trust Him. Numbers 14:29
6. These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did,
God fed them, but this shows us that even when God does a miracle it does not mean that people will want to walk closely with Him.
We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. Numbers 11:5
7 – 8
or worship idols as some of them did. As Moses said, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in evil dancing.” And we must not live in immorality as some of them did, and thousands of them died that day.
Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
He took this from their hand, and made it into a metal cow; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Exodus 32:6, 19
9. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.
The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? Numbers 21:5
10. And do not grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.
We cannot use our friendship with the Lord as an excuse for sin.
11. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
We should learn from their mistakes. Those who will not learn must feel the results of what they have done.
12. If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he does not know as much as he thinks.
1 Corinthians 8:2
13 – 15
Everyone has the same temptations but God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.
So, my dear friends, run from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true.
The temptation may be a red flag to keep you from a worse temptation. This temptation may be sending you in another direction by making you alert to a bigger attack which is coming.
Remind yourself that others have overcome this. Some people need to see that someone else has escaped so that they can have hope that it can be done. God’s presence is not in the direction of the temptation but is waiting for you at the door of escape. The Holy Spirit says, “Run!”
16 – 18
When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, are we not sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, are we not sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Were they not united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
Communion is like taking the Body of the Lord into yourself. You are showing that you want His body to become one with your body and to use this body to do the same things He used to do when He walked on the earth.
When we all eat from the same loaf of bread then the same bread is inside of all of us. The original language for “communion” here uses a word that reminds us of standing in the Holy of Holies.
19. What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods?
Paul is saying that an idol is nothing but the problem is that it was offered to a demon. An idol is something made to look like a false God. Many of these idols are evil looking and they show that the people who worship them think that the idea of God is evil.
An idol is something that has been dedicated to Satan and carries a demon spirit with it. Christians need to be careful not to have these things in their house. In the 1960s devil worshipers used to ask Satan to use their music on the radio to bring people to the devil. Today, video games and movies show us pictures of demons and make us more comfortable with the things of the devil.
Sometimes when a family is having problems and everything has been tried to help them, the problem may be that there is something of the devil in their house. Someone in that house has invited a demon there and it will not leave until this permission is taken away. Ephesians 4:27
20. No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons.
Some people say that idols are just a way of reminding people about the things that they believe. The Bible says that there is a demonic spirit behind these things.
They offered sacrifices to demons, which are not God. Deuteronomy 32:17
21. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.
You cannot have close fellowship with the devil and with the Lord at the same time. That would be like having a communion table for the devil.
22. What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than He is?
Are we going to have to be punished the way Israel was punished?
23. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
Let us get rid of any kind of weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily makes us fall. Hebrews 12:1
24. Do not think only of your own things, but also the things of others.
Think of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
25 – 27
So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.”
If someone who is not a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.
See Psalm 24:1.
28. But if someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Do not eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.
Paul had agreed to teach the churches to stay away from idols. Acts 15:29
29. It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person. For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. Romans 14:14 – 23
30 – 33
If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Do not give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I do not just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
Remember that the city of Corinth was full of statues of false gods. The city was known for sexual sin. The Christians there were living in a sewer.
How would you feel if you taught a week Christian to do something that made him fall back into the sewer that he came out of? If this is not a problem for you then you are living in a way that shows that you want to come as close as you can to the world and at the same time keep from getting too close to Jesus.