Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wonder and Grace

Today I'm reading 1 Corinthians 10:1-10

1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.
6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

Outside/Inside. Paul is pointing out the difference between the outside observance of religious ritual and what's really going on inside a person's heart (that eventually finds its way out into their behavior). The ancient Israelites had it all - all God's blessings. And it was never enough for them. They were always on the cycle of following God, getting complacent, complaining, turning to idols and hedonism...then the consequences set in and they finally, reluctantly, repent and turn back to God. 

Paul has a terrifying sentence: "just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much..." That's sad, but a reality. And it can happen to anyone. 

May that never be true of our lives. Don't get complacent. Don't take God's grace for granted. Don't start the slide away from God. Remember: every kick has a kickback.


(Read Exodus 32 for the background story).

No comments:

Post a Comment