Friday, November 20, 2009

1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Hope in Temptation

(Temptation- Sandro Botticelli)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

I Corinthians 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." 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, 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 has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Calvin Abridged- especially on 10:13: Paul is writing here to console them since he previously talked about instances of God’s wrath, and he didn’t want them to feel discouraged or overpowered with alarm. Now he gives them a sure hope- “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” He tells them to look to the Lord, for temptation will overcome us if we rely on our own strength. He speaks of the Lord as faithful- meaning that he was not only true to his promises, but also He is the sure guardian of his people keeping them safe and not abandoning them. God helps us in two ways- He supplies us with strength and He sets limits to the temptation. God knows the measure of our power and strength because He has given that to us. “Temptation” means everything that draws us away from God.

Thought: This great passage on resisting temptation was written to a people whose ancestors and neighbors had given into it. Idolatry was everywhere in Corinth. When you are in Corinth, there is a huge mountain towering above it with a temple to Dionysius who was goddess of wine and sexuality. When you go to the museum in Corinth there are grotesque statues of deformed body parts indicating the epidemic prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases- gonorrhea, and syphilis. The oldest temple in Greece is a temple is the temple to Apollos in Corinth. So before this great verse he speaks of idols (vs. 7) and of not following the bad examples in the Old Testament of giving into idolatry (like the golden calf). Then in verse 14 he tells them to “flee from idolatry.” Idolatry, Calvin thought, was the root of all sin- making a thing or a person God- putting something or someone else in God’s place. God’s faithfulness, the commonality of each temptation, and God’s provision of a way of escape are three aids to help us in temptation.

Prayer: Lord, lead us not into temptation, and if we face temptation, please show us the way of escape you have provided.

No comments:

Post a Comment