Just added to our 1 Corinthians section; a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 10:
outline notes available from this message:
In the shadow of Sinai in Sight of the Promised Land
We noted that parallels were drawn between:
- Ultimately ourselves
- Assumptions made – run the old life and the new life together
- Blessings enjoyed
- Led – under the cloud
- Fed – manna and spiritual meat and the water and spiritual drink
The source of that sustenance is Christ
Natural provision but by supernatural means
Sometimes it is easy to identify supernatural provision by supernatural means but this is natural provision by supernatural means
- Dead – through the sea
This turned out to be the largest baptismal tank in history.
- Confusion between external and the internal
Here was a 4 fold deception
People once led by God were deceived over the most fundamental / basic of moral and spiritual issues:
- Sexual morality
We have seen it in our own day – churches divided, not over subtleties of doctrine but professing Christians utterly adrift, rudderless on an ocean of confusion over the most basic of human relationships which God has ordered and imprinted in the biology, physiology and anatomy of the human frame and with that confusion a pride, that our day and age is so much more enlightened than that of our forefathers, not because we have reached the goals set out by them but because we have confounded ourself into a state of disbelief; there is no destination to reach, nowhere to go, no standards to uphold, no absolutes, no judge and no goal, and so just enjoy the drift!
4 fold deception:
- 10:7 – Losing the Cloud – End of being Led
- 10:8 – Losing Purity – End of being Dead
- 10:9 – Losing the Manna – End of Being Fed
- 10:10 – Denying our Identity
10:7 – Losing the Cloud – End of being Led
1 Corinthians 10: refers back to Exodus 32:1ff
Within sight of Sinai!!
Saddest of settings
Moses up the mountain
Deceived by an idol
Production of the golden calf – Baal worship
First introduction of the nation to idolatry
When we speak about idolatry what do we mean?
In Exodus 32 it is not a vague / general phenomenon but really quite focused and specific
Arguably it is the first time idolatry features in the nations history.
Idolatry has a specific goal – not just the general presence of idols in the nation.
Idolatry is not simply the verbal ascription of praise to idols.
Idolatry is not just the presence of ceremonies around idols.
In Exodus 32 idolatry is not simply a general social or religious phenomenon
Idolatry is focused
Idolatry is specific
Idolatry is directed
Idolatry is not the A Bomb of Hiroshima / Nagasaki which indiscriminately destroys everything in the vicinity but rather it is more akin to the the dam buster bomb of Sir Barnes Wallis:
16th to 17th May 1943
Destroyed hydroelectric power stations, factories and mines
1600 people drowned
Idolatry had a very specific target
A target which when hit would adversely affect the well being of the peopl of God with global consequences
This was a blow to the nation and a disaster for Israel.
Exodus 32:1 : ‘make us gods which shall go before us’
Exodus 32:1 : ‘Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt’
Exodus 32:4 : ‘These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt’
Exodus 32:8 : ‘These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt’
It was not Moses nor the golden calf which had brought them up out of Egypt:
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud” (Exodus 13:21)
This is a specific attack on the cloud and on Divine guidance.
This is the end of being led
Knock out their guidance and everything else follows; they are left lost, wandering, dazed and aimless in the wilderness; doomed for an eternity of being lost in the wilderness.
Idolatry exists when we take our guidance from a source other than the Lord!
10:8 – Losing Purity – End of being Dead
A reference here to Numbers 25
An attack on their sanctification
Numbers 25 forms a backdrop to 1 Corinthians chps 5 to 10:
Numbers 25:1 – Moral Compromise
Numbers 25:2 – Meat offered to idols
Numbers 25:2,3 – Idols temple / worship
Numbers 25:9 – Death and judgement
Notice the geographical setting here in Numbers 25 – Shittim (25:1)
This is the place where Joshua in Joshua chp 3 will prepare to pass over the Jordan and into the promised land.
In Numbers 25 they are in sight of the promised land
Maybe they feel they are getting nowhere slowly, wandering and that a bit aimlessly, maybe losing heart and perhaps vulnerable in a state of despair??
Ironically they don’t know just how close they are to Gods blessings for them.
So close, they could have spat on it, and they did.
They messed up big time!
How close have we been at times to Gods blessings, only to deny ourselves through sin and failure and unfaithfulness, inches from the promised land??
If Exodus 32 is on shadow of Sinai then Numbers 25 is in sight of the promised land
So close to the goal and yet at the last moment distracted and failed.
Here on the banks of the Jordan is a denial of their Red Sea Baptism.
The failure is moral – a denial of their baptism – dead to sin (Romans 6:1-4)
Numbers 25:1 – what society calls progress God calls prostitution
10:9 – Losing the Manna – End of Being Fed
An end of being fed?
Numbers 21:5 “our soul loatheth this light bread”
It wasn’t as they initially claimed (that they had no bread, Num 21:5) but rather they didn’t much care for the bread they did have!
When they stopped feeding on Christ, Satan started to feed on them.
We can easily become distracted from feeding on Christ
10:10 – Denying our Identity