Lenten Reader | Day 19

Don't Fall

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. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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.

- 1 Corinthians 10:1-5,11-13
Today’s Scripture opens with a warning. Paul says he doesn’t want us to be ignorant. Some people of Corinth believed that the sacraments (baptism and communion) secured their salvation. Paul pointed out that the Israelites also outwardly followed Moses (baptism) and ate the manna and drank from the same rock (communion), and yet only two of them, Joshua & Caleb, entered into the Promised Land. They all thought they were safe, but most were not found pleasing to God.

Some people in Corinth, as we’re told in verses 6-10, had been worshipping idols, craving evil things, grumbling, feasting & drinking, and engaging in sexual immorality. They had gotten comfortable. Idolatry was an everyday experience in their upbringing. When you see/hear something day in and day out, it becomes okay – even normal. If we gradually become desensitized to sin, we don’t see it. If we don’t see it, we let down our guard. If we are not on guard, we will fall.

So how can we keep from falling? The simple answer is to put on the armor of God and keep Him number one. Every thought should include Him. Matthew Henry says, “Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, therefore should be checked in their first rise.” Verse 13 says Jesus will always show us a way out. Maybe if we catch ourselves early, the route will be on the “olly olly oxen free”, come out of hiding with no penalty, side of the scale. If we continue to indulge, it’s more like The Sound of Music escape up the snowy mountain pass – a harder row to hoe with greater consequences. Either way, God is faithful, and you will endure.

- Tami Daly
Father, thank you that there is no temptation that I can’t overcome through Jesus’ power. Help me to be on guard against temptation and to stand firm when it comes.