Let’s start off by reading 1 Corinthians 10:12 which says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  This is a chapter of warnings to the Lord’s people.  This chapter is a warning about being self-confident.  In the verses 1-5, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians of the history of the Jewish people.  He points out that they were ALL under the cloud.  They all passed through the Red Sea.  They were ALL baptized unto Moses. They did ALL eat the same spiritual meat.  They did ALL drink the same spiritual drink.  Yet, there were MANY that displeased the Lord and were overthrown in the desert.  These never entered the Promised Land because of their unfaithfulness and idolatry.

We learn in verse 6 that, “these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”  These things should serve as examples to warn us of unruly behavior that displeases the Lord and will keep us from enjoying many precious blessings that the Lord has for us.  Let’s spend a few minutes looking at these things that should serve as a warning to us.

Verse 6 says that “we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”  This is probably a reference to the Lord’s people in the desert who began to despise the provision of the Lord and lusted after things of the world.  Numbers 11:4 says, “And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?”

Verse 7 says, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”  When Moses went up to the mount to get the Ten Commandments from the Lord, the Israelites built a golden calf and worshipped it.  Exodus 32:6 says, “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.”

Verse 8 says, “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”  In Numbers 25:1 we read, “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”  We learn, too, that they began to worship the idols with the daughters of Moab.  They were guilty of physical and spiritual fornication.  The Lord, in His righteous wrath ordered the death of all those unfaithful ones.  Numbers 25:9 says, “And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.”

Verse 9 says, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.”  Numbers 21:5-9 tells the account of how the Lord’s people ‘spake against God and against Moses.’  Because of this, the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people.  Those who were bit died from the terrible bite.  However, to those that repented, they found the Lord still rich in mercy.  The Lord had Moses build a fiery serpent out of bronze and hold it up.  For all those who were bitten, if they would look at this lifted up serpent, they would be saved.

Verse 10 says, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”  In Numbers 6, a man named Korah gathered in men and tried to overtake Moses and the Lord.  Upon his death, the people murmured in grief over this man.  We read in Numbers 16:41, “But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron…”  We read of the Lord’s judgment in Numbers 16:49, “Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.”

So, using the sad history of Israel as a ‘learning tool’, Paul warned the Corinthians (and us) to refrain from lust, idolatry, fornication, tempting the Lord, and murmuring against Him.  We read in Ephesians 5:3, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”  (184.7)