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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 26

Scripture: 1Corinthians 10:1-13

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things 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 got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.


Today's Meditation: 

The NIV introduction describes Corinth in Paul’s day as a city of about 650,000 (400,000 of whom were slaves), famous for its wealth, Greek culture, its dozen or more temples, and its immorality. One of the temples, devoted to Aphrodite, featured religious prostitution. The Greek phrase “to corinthianize” came to mean “to practice sexual immorality”. So it was not surprising that the early Corinthian converts to Christianity, who grew up in a culture that considered immorality perfectly natural, would be tempted to fall back into old habits. Paul’s purpose in this letter was to instruct them toward progressive sanctification.

In Chapter 10, Paul warns the Corinthians that God did not spare his chosen people Israel from punishment when they resorted to idolatry and immorality. 3000 were executed for worshiping a golden calf, 24,000 died in a plague as a result of their worshiping the Moabite god Baal, and ultimately, for their refusal to enter the land God promised them, Joshua and Caleb were the only adult exiles from Egypt to survive the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

What might Paul have to say today to a nation which self-identified for generations as a Christian nation, but now grows increasingly more secular and pagan? In this Lenten season, which Christians traditionally have devoted to inner reflection and repentance, let us take time to identify personal sins that estrange us from communion with God, and pray that our nation will return to the faith of our ancestors.


Prayer:

Dear God, just as the Israelites and the Corinthians were corrupted by sin, we so often wander away from you and are tempted by the immorality of our present age. Please deliver us from evil, and set our eyes on our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen


Norman Baker




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