And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. — 1 Corinthians 10:3-4
Each week, grocery stores advertise their best buys in the local paper. Pictures of lean cuts of meat sizzling on the grill make our mouths water. Illustrations of locally-grown fruits and vegetables demand attention, encouraging potential shoppers to come and select from their rich variety. Bakery products are described in words designed to make us give up baking altogether, and head for the nearest store to purchase food more delectable than anything we could hope to prepare. What is the point behind each of these colorful and descriptive advertisements? The advertisers want to persuade us that their products will satisfy — and that we need to rush right out and obtain a supply!
The meat and drink referred to in this verse were the miraculous provisions from God for the Children of Israel: the manna He had sent them each morning and the water that flowed from a rock to nourish them in the wilderness. Tragically, the Israelites were not satisfied with God’s provisions, but instead reminisced about all the food they had when they were in Egypt. Paul used their example to point out to the Corinthian believers that even those who enjoyed great privileges from God could fall into error.
What a lesson to us in the importance of desiring things of God instead of the allurements the world presents as objects that will satisfy! No matter how tasteful and attractive the “advertisements” of Satan may be, we must realize that there is only one provision that will truly satisfy our souls, and that is what God himself provides.
Have you recently feasted on the spiritual meat of God’s Word, or quenched your thirst from the Rock Christ Jesus? If you have, you know the contentment this brings. If you have not, learn a lesson from the Israelites and do not try to satisfy your spiritual man with the “leeks and onions” of this world. Come and sample the delights the Lord has waiting for you. “Taste and see” how wonderful His provision is!
Having ended chapter 9 with a discussion of the need for self-discipline, in which he used his own life as an illustration, Paul concluded his discussion of Christian liberty in chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthian church of previous failures made by the Children of Israel. This was not to be negative, but to act as a warning. In verses 7-10, Paul referenced several instances when the Israelites sinned. First, there was the time when they made a golden calf and worshiped it in the wilderness (Exodus 32). Second, they engaged in sexually immoral behavior with the Moabite women and worshiped Bael-peor (Numbers 25:1-9). God was displeased when the Israelites complained about their food (Numbers 21:5-6). Also, they “tempted” God to see how far they could go, when they complained against God (Numbers 14:26).
Throughout these examples, Paul charged the Corinthian believers to beware of temptation and unbelief (verses 1-13), to flee any practice that would edge them toward idolatry (verses 14-22), and to be guided by principles of thankfulness and expediency (verses 23-33). In these verses about liberty, he addressed the following issues: whether one could eat meat sacrificed to idols, whether attendance was allowed at heathen feasts, and whether or not one was allowed to eat meat purchased in the marketplace.
Paul was anxious to lead the Corinthian believers to maturity under grace. He made clear to them that the Christian life was not governed by legalism, but this did not justify lawlessness. He pointed them to the best example to follow: Jesus Christ, in whom can be seen the ultimate sacrifice and supernatural love. Every act was to be judged by His standard.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. Answers to inquiries
B. Concerning meats offered to idols
3. Possibility of forfeited privilege 10:1-13)
a. The illustration of Moses’generation (10:1-10)
b. The application (10:11-12)
c. The consolation (10:13)
4. Application of the principles (10:14 — 11:1)
a. To heathen festivals (10:14-23)
b. In the marketplace (10:24-26)
c. In a home (10:27-30)
d. Conclusion (10:31 — 11:1)
Today’s activities and involvements could cause us to forget the lessons of the past. As Paul cautioned the believers at Corinth, let us remember to learn from the experiences of the Israelites so that we can avoid repeating their errors!