Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.1 Corinthians 10:14(NASB)
Despite their miraculous escape from Egyptian bondage, their baptism into Moses (i.e. their identification with him) as they crossed the Red Sea, and in spite of the many signs and wonders that followed the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings, the Lord was not pleased with them.. because they exchanged the worship of their Creator God and great Redeemer, for idol-worship. Within a few short weeks of their being redeemed from Egypt, Israel became idolaters - lusting after the former evil things of their idolatrous captors.. and the Lord was not pleased with most of them.
Only weeks after their deliverance, Moses was given the tablets of stone, for the nation which God Himself had chosen to be His covenant people. Israel was to be the chosen nation through whom the promised Messiah was to be born - and yet we discover that the people engaged in much ungodly practice and idolatrous frolicking - causing thousands of souls to be struck down in God's anger.
Although God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt.. their pagan influence and idolatrous practices remained very influential in the heart of God's people. And so we find Paul using this Old Testament example of rebellion and idolatry to warn the believers of his day to flee far from idolatry and paganism.. to turn away from all forms of occultic worship and to abhor anything connected with the pagan practices of the day.
The believers in the Corinthian church had been converted from the occultic custom of the time.. one of which was eating meat that had been offered to idols. This practice signified that a person became spiritually united with the same heathen deity to whom the meat had been offered. Paul made it very clear that we should not engage in any activity that might remind us of our former, unsaved ways. He did not want the ungodly customs from which these Christians had been freed to re-captivate their mind and tempt them to return to their former idolatrous ways. He warned them not to have dealings with anything which might entice them back under the satanic yoke and idol worship from which Christ had set them free..
Our bodies are a temple of God and should never become yoked to an idol or fall into subjugation with idol-worship. Although there is nothing wrong with eating meat in and of itself.. Paul knew that a believer's conscience could condemn them if they revisited their former ways, which prompted Paul's warning to: flee from idolatry, my beloved.
This example of Israel's idolatry in the wilderness is a warning to Christians in our own generation, that we should heed.. for temptation towards idolatry is part of our fallen human nature - indeed anything that is given priority over God or substituted for Him is idolatry. And Paul's warning to the Corinthians to flee from idolatry is one that believers in our own generation should take seriously.. in case we fall into our own form of modern-day idolatry and discredit our God and Saviour.
We should never allow ourselves to become complacent, or careless in our Christian walk and we should never confidently consider that we are exempt from falling into this sort of ungodly behaviour. Let us heed the warning from the apostles Peter and Paul: take care lest, being led away along with the error of the wicked, ye should fall from your own steadfastness - therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have saved me from my old ungodly way of life and breathed into me the new life of Christ Jesus. Keep me I pray from falling into any ungodly practices and prevent me from flirting with practices that troubles my conscience or the conscience of others. May I walk in newness of life to Your honour and glory from this day forward - this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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