1 Corinthians 10:1-11
10 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, 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.
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[b] these things HAPPENED TO THEM as examples, and they were WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
The Old Testament introduced us to God… through Israel. We learn who He is, and since we’re made in His image we learn who we are. We learn His expectations. We learn how He reacts when we sin. We learn through what I like to call EXTREME EXAMPLES what He loves and what He hates through His interactions with Isreal. We learn that when we sin, before He gets angry – He’s hurt….as implied in Judges 2:1-2…
“Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS?”
Here God asks, “Why have you done this?”
Have you ever asked that to a loved one that hurt you?
Have you ever said that to a child before you punished them?
We learn God’s heart through His interactions with Israel. Through EXTREME examples of judgement we learn how much He hates some behaviors. We also learn through EXTREME acts of mercy and miracles what behaviors He loves.
Those extreme judgements are much like a police officer pulling over ONE speeding driver, when many are speeding. Every now and then they will have to remind drivers of the law by making an example of some drivers and not all.
Some say we don’t have those EXTREME judgements as in the Old Testament anymore…but don’t be too quick to assume so. Many of the natural disasters and calamities of TODAY could be God getting our attention and reminding us of His expectations.
As you read the history of the Old Testament, from now on as you read an EXTREME judgement (such as the earth opening up and swallowing people in Numbers 26:10, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19) pay particular attention to the reasons God did it.
Pay attention to the behaviors that He was responding to.
Pay particular attention to what He calls abominations.
God doesn’t change, if He hated it then, He hates it now.
Let’s LEARN FROM OUR EXTREME EXAMPLES