Chapter 10: 1 Corinthians 10:1-33,Types, temptations, and idolatry
Heavenly Father, we come before You again on bended knees, open spirits, open eyes, open ears, and obedient hearts. We offer our bodies to You as living sacrifices to serve You and sacrifices of praise to worship You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
VV 1-2, 1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
Paul alluded to the Exodus story. God protected the Israelites of the Exodus with a pillar cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night. God miraculously parted the Red Sea for them to walk on dry ground. The pillar of cloud and fire were foreshadows of the Holy Spirit. Passing through the Red Sea was a foreshadow of water baptism.
Exodus 13:21, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night”.
Exodus 14:21, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.”.
VV 3-5, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
The Israelites ate manna and drank water from the rock. Manna and rock were foreshadows of Christ. Water was a foreshadow of the Holy Spirit. Out of the estimated two million Israelites who crossed the Red Sea, only men, Joshua and Caleb, entered the promised land. All the rest perished in the wilderness.
Exodus 16:31, “And the house of Israel called its name [a]Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”
Exodus 17:6, “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
VV 6-11, 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Greek for examples is “tupos”, which means type or foreshadow. These things were foreshadows of Christ. Paul warned his audience against idolatry, sexual immorality, disobedience, and grumbling against God. He quoted Exodus 32:6 and Numbers 25:9 and Numbers 21:9. The bronze serpent was a foreshadow of Christ.
Exodus 32:6, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”
Numbers 25:9, “And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.”
Numbers 21:9, “So Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on the flag pole; and it came about, that if a serpent bit someone, and he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
VV 12-13, 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
You can claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 for overcoming temptations. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear and will make a way for you to overcome it.
VV 14-18, 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
Paul encouraged his audience to run away from idolatry. Paul asked two rhetorical questions concerning Holy Communion. The cup of the Holy Communion represents the blood of Christ. The bread of the Holy Communion represents the body of Christ.
VV 19-22, 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
Paul asked three more rhetorical questions. Idols are not “gods” but demons of satan. You cannot drink the cup of communion and the cup of demons. You cannot have fellowship with God and with demons or you will provoke the wrath of God.
VV 23, 23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek
his own, but each one the other’s well-being. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”
All things are lawful but not all things are helpful or edifying. You should look out for one another’s well-being and not be a stumbling block to others. You should eat whatever is sold in the market without asking any questions for your conscience’s sake because all things belonged to God. Paul quoted Psalm 24:1.
Psalm 24:1, “A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”
VV 27-28, 27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”
When invited to a dinner, eat whatever is served without raising any questions. But if you knew that the food was offered to idols, you must not eat them for your conscience’ sake.
VV 29-33, 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Paul asked two more rhetorical questions. Whatever we eat, drink, or do, do them all for the glory of God.
You can claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 if you are going through temptations. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear and will make a way for you to overcome them.
You should not eat food offered to idols because this may cause a weaker Christian to stumble and for your conscience’ sake.
Heavenly Father, help us to run away from idolatry, sexual immorality, disobedience, and murmuring against You. Help us not to eat food offered to idols so as not to be a stumbling block to weaker Christians and for our conscience’ sake, in Jesus’ name, Amen.