1 Corinthians 10: Where’s Your Mind Set?
“Now these things happened as examples for us;
that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.
And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.’
Nor let us act immorally, as some of the did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-9, NASB
What a party they had! The noise reached the ears of Moses and Joshua as they came down the mountain. But the volume didn’t stop there. It reached the ears of heaven. The people set their minds against the God who had delivered them from slavery, only to make themselves slaves to a god made by their hands—a god made from the bounty the Egyptians received as they left their land. How quickly they forgot the goodness of God toward them.
After delivering them from Egypt,
- He made a way to escape through the Red Sea;
- He provided water when they thirsted,
- manna when they hungered,
- and strengthened them in battle.
- His presence walked with them in the cloud.
But they wanted to play god.
When our minds are turned from God, they turn to another god. This is idolatry. Americans are good at playing this game. No matter what, don’t take away our playtime. Let us make our own rules and play our immoral games. We have become our own gods. Heaven help us.
The world, not just the United States, is filled with those who want to rule not only their lives, but all lives. It’s nothing new. The ideology came when Satan tempted Eve and said she could be like God. As the population multiplied so did the number of gods. In truth, any who have set their minds against the one true God have become idolaters—worshippers of false gods.
Paul reminded the Corinthians of the end for those who chose to set their minds against God.
“Nevertheless, with most of them,
God was not well-pleased;
for they were laid low in the wilderness …
and twenty-three thousand fell in one day …
some… were destroyed by the serpents …
some were destroyed by the destroyer.”
(taken from 10:5-10)
When we choose to set our minds against God, death follows. God told Adam so in the garden, and He tells us.
“For the wages of sin is death …” Romans 6:23.
But God has not left us without hope. Nor did He leave Israel without hope. The people spoke against God and Moses. The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and many died. The people cried out confessing their sin. The Lord heard and made a way to save them. He told Moses—
“Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard;
and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten,
when he looks at it, he shall live.”
Moses did. Those who suffered bites and looked to the bronze standard, lived. I wonder how many refused to look to God’s way? I believe some refused. For such is the nature of those who set their minds against Him, and we see it in John’s gospel when he writes—
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.”
Paul tells us all these things were written for our example. The question remains—will we learn from these examples or die in our sin. Our heavenly Father has offered us life through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son. Will we call out to Him and be saved? Or will we keep our minds set against Him?
For Thought: The Israelites saw God’s goodness and turned away. Why do people find it easy to set their minds against the One who loves them and gave himself for them?
Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: A spiritual battle began in the Garden of Eden and continues to be fought. According to these verses, where is the battle field? And how do we win the victory?
Our Prayer: Father, you are God there is none other in heaven or on earth. You fill our lives with your goodness. Help us to set our minds on you and to bring our thoughts captive in obedience to you.