Today’s reading teaches us about temptation. The basic premise that Paul writes the Corinthians is to remember the children of Israel, their bad example and don’t be like them. They were saved by God as they passed through the sea, they ate food provided by God and were lead by God, but God was not pleased with most of them. Paul writes they had evil hearts. This was shown by their idolatry, their sexual immorality, their testing of the Lord and their grumbling.
When I read scripture, I try to relate to what’s going on, but sometimes it doesn’t really seem to apply to me. That’s how I felt as I was reading this passage. I don’t worship idols, I’m not sexually immoral, I don’t test the Lord, but then Paul mentioned grumbling. I wish he wouldn’t have mentioned this one.
I do complain – occasionally. Griping is something in which I engage – periodically. Once in a while I do have an attitude of discontent. All of a sudden, I was relating with the grumblers from the passage and not in a good way.
In this passage, Paul doesn’t address strategies for dealing with temptation. He simply points out that everyone has to deal with temptation and there are consequences for not resisting and falling into sin.
It seems that we can be an example of an overcomer of temptation or we can fail to resist, fall into sin, suffer the consequences, and be a bad example - like the children of Israel as they wandered through the desert on their way to the Promised Land.
Paul’s warning is a good one: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (I Corinthians 10:12)