This is serious ( I Corinthians 10-12)

We must not put Christ[c] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. I Corinthians 10:9-10

As a young man I used to love a good prank.  I especially loved pulling pranks on people I labeled as those who, in my opinion, took life too seriously.  But now that I have gotten older, I seem to prank less and contemplate more.

As one reads the book of I Corinthians it is clear that Paul is serious about life.  At the end of chapter 9, Paul writes about the seriousness of serving the Lord in a dedicated fashion. Paul warns us of being disqualified from service if we are not disciplined in our faith.

In chapter 10 Paul draws from the example of his heritage to illustrate this truth.  The people of Israel centuries earlier were disqualified from serving the Lord because of their open rebellion against God.  God’s people in covenant with Him desired evil.  They were idolaters; immoral, and complainers against God.

Israel wanted God’s blessing and they wanted the evil world system at the same time!

This is why so many of them died in the wilderness. This was not God’s unjust judgment.  This was God’s just judgment.  Over and over God had warned them of the judgment to come.  But they would not turn and follow Him.

The Corinthian church, now generations later, are doing the same things.

 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? 10:21-22

God intends for their failure to be our example of how not to live.  Paul leads us to see a better way (a serious way) to live for God:

  1.  The Lord has liberated us.  We are to enjoy life for His glory, 10:26.
  2. The Lord is to be our Lord.  We are called to engage life for His purposes, 10:31.

Footnote: God was being merciful in not destroying the sinful members of the church at Corinth.  In chapter 11 we discover how many of the members have become sick and some have died because of the same attitude toward the world and God as had Israel centuries ago.

Our goal must be to discipline ourselves for Godliness, 11:31.  Brothers and sisters, let us take our faith seriously!!!

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