Episode #143. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 10 together: Paul gives us warnings from Israel’s past; warns against idolatry; and tells more about Christian liberty.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #143. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 10 together: Paul gives us warnings from Israel’s past; warns against idolatry; and tells more about Christian liberty.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
The coolest thing happened this past Sunday. As you know, I woke up with a cough. My coughs have a very bronchial quality to them; always have. No, I don’t think that I have Covid but had I gone to church and people would have heard me cough, they may have scattered. It’s kinda funny. The air is so thick with smoke in California that you can’t see your own landscape, but somebody coughs, and the automatic fear is Covid-19.
The other piece of background info you need to know is that my pastor sends out every week what he has always called Pastor Notes, which is essentially his blog and a preview of the upcoming sermon. Now, I’m not gonna say I drop everything to read it when it hits my mailbox but I’m pretty faithful about getting it done every week. He’s funny, and down to earth, and I love his perspective on muddling through the Christian life.
Except I didn’t read it this week. ☹
I drove to my daughter’s house to support her and, well, there were just only so many things I could cram in. So, I had no idea what was coming up.
The German Shepherd
Now, fast forward back to Sunday.
I hate missing church. Even when Mitch and I are traveling, we go to church. We’re just big believers that, regardless what continent we’re on, we’re not to forego gathering together with other believers. That’s in the book of Hebrews, by the way. And it was the Lord’s Supper this weekend too, so missing that is a bummer. I worked on the podcast while Mitch was at church and Sunday school, and some would say that’s doing God’s work, but it’s not the same.
But guess what? That’s exactly what Hans talked about in his sermon! It was titled, Loving Jesus Means Loving His Church. Troy hadn’t uploaded the sermon yet so I went to Hans’ blog post, The German Shepherd. (Get it? He’s German and he’s a pastor.) It was truly one of his best blogs.
Please do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to read his post this week. You can easily do it over a bowl of cereal and you’ll be glad you did. He nails some of our lame excuses for not going to church. And considering all that Jesus has done for us, rolling out on Sunday mornings is a small price to pay in return. I’ll put the link to The German Shepherd in both the transcript and the Show Notes. Let me know what you think at Lifting Her Voice.com.
1 Corinthians Chapter 10
Warnings from Israel’s Past
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless God was not pleased with most of them, since they were struck down in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, so that we will not desire evil things as they did. Don’t become idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to party. Let us not commit sexual immorality as some of them did, and in a single day twenty-three thousand people died. Let us not test Christ as some of them did and were destroyed by snakes. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. These things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.
Warning against Idolatry
So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I am speaking as to sensible people. Judge for yourselves what I am saying. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, since all of us share the one bread. Consider the people of Israel. Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? What am I saying then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons! You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.
Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, without raising questions for the sake of conscience, since the earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it. If any of the unbelievers invites you over and you want to go, eat everything that is set before you, without raising questions for the sake of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This is food from a sacrifice,” do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who told you, and for the sake of conscience. I do not mean your own conscience, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another person’s conscience? If I partake with thanksgiving, why am I criticized because of something for which I give thanks?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.
There are several things that stick with me in this chapter. You already know that I’ve carried verse 23 with me since I was 19 or 20. But another attention getter is right before that. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Over and over again in the Old Testament, God tells us that He is a jealous God. We are not to give our attentions to idols.
Back in Bible times, those looked like icons and false gods…worshipping metal and stone and things made with human hands. But think of what idols might look like today. We are wise when we take account. To what do we give our time, attention and money? And don’t get it twisted. God wants our time, attention, and money. Not because He needs them, but because that’s what leads to our hearts. And His reaction is no different than the jealousy that is displayed by a spouse who has been cheated on. Because that exactly what it is. Has it been too long since we took an account? Let’s pray.
Oh, Lord, please forgive us for the times we allow the shiny things of this world to take our focus off You. You who made a plan of redemption for us. You who sustain us as we struggle in this foreign land. Holy Spirit, convict our hearts and make us quick to ask forgiveness. Give us discipline to reject those idols that break Your heart and guide us to give ourselves wholly to You. Help us to learn from those Israelites and not repeat their foolishness. Thank You for the Israelites’ example. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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