1 Corinthians 10:1-12 KJV “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
I was researching the word, “Ensamples,” and found that it’s meaning included everything from a teaching that instructs and warns, to a mark made by a stroke or a blow. And it also means an image made, an impression to be studied and learned from. That’s what God says the things that happened to the children of Israel are for us.
God used Moses to rescue Israel from a life of cruel slavery. They were slaves to the Egyptians for 400 years! But how sad that most of them later died in the wilderness and never made it to the promised land. Why? Imagine being a slave all of your life. Your parents were slaves, and their parents, and so on. And only by God’s miraculous power one day you’re set free! God split the Red Sea wide open for you, then you and your people walked across it on dry ground! Your enemies also tried to cross the sea in pursuit of you. Then God closed the sea in on them. You watched the bodies of your enemies wash up on the sea shore. Never again will you have to worry about those Egyptians making your life miserable. Would you be grateful for that?
Israel was not grateful. They constantly grumbled and complained against God. On more than one occasion they even talked about killing Moses, God’s appointed leader of His people.
Jude 1:5 NIV “Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.”
When we hear the word, “Lust,” we normally think about sex. But we can set our hearts on many evil things besides sexual pleasures God forbids. Evil lust for what is forbidden has overtaken us when we say to ourselves, “I want it no matter what the cost!” “I don’t care about the consequences, I want it!” Israel often got into trouble for this attitude. I recently was studying the Bible with a guy who has serious issues with lust. On his job he gained a reputation for touching women inappropriately. He started a second job and on his 2nd day the manager had to pull him aside and talk to him about focussing on his work instead of females. He then got a new smartphone and a new girlfriend. After that he was through. You couldn’t tell him anything. He lost interest in studying the Bible. Why? Because his true desires were now fulfilled. He could now watch all the entertainment he wanted on his new smartphone (including pornography), and he had a new girlfriend to fulfill his evil lusts through. At first he said he wanted God. But his actions proved otherwise. Which brings us to:
Idolatry is the worship of false gods. This caused many of the Israelites to fall and be destroyed. Anything can be an idol. The other day I saw a sign that read, “Anything You Love More Than God Is Your God.” That’s a good way to put it. Things we covet; set our hearts on, are really our gods. No wonder God says concerning some:
Philippians 3:19 KJV “Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”
What do we set our hearts on? What do we desire the most? Is it a new home? A new car? That cool new smartphone? A new job? Maybe it’s that new tablet? What about a mate? Is money our god? Maybe entertainment, having a good time is what we desire most. It doesn’t matter what it is, if we love it more than we love God we’ve been duped into idolatry. Our idol worship will come back to bite us. Speaking of things that bite us hard that brings us to:
Fornication means to give oneself over to unlawful sexual practices. It also includes prostituting one’s body to the lust of another. Those who practice fornication are also engaging in idolatry, because they are coveting something evil:
Colossians 3:5 NIV “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, WHICH IS IDOLATRY.”
Our bodies are temples of God. They were not meant for fornication, which is idolatry:
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 NIV “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.  You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
The sin of fornication is serious. Every other sin is committed outside the body. But he/she that sins sexually sins against his/her own body. That means when we commit fornication something is going on inside the body.🤔Hmmmm. On one occasion God destroyed twenty three thousand Israelites for engaging in fornication and worshiping the false god Baal. The Israelites were invited to a party by a neighboring nation. Some of them went, ate, drank, and had sex with women, which was the practice in worshiping Baal. One moment of pleasure costed twenty three thousand people their lives! Beware of the parties you get invited to.
May we learn from the children of Israel not to be complainers, not to be lustful, nor idolaters, or fornicators. If we have sinned in these ways we should confess our sins to God and repent. He will forgive us and welcome us with open arms if we are sincere:
Proverbs 28:13 KJV “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
James 5:16 NIV “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Hebrews 10:22 NIV “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
Hebrews 9:14 NIV “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
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