No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it, (10:13).
I couldn’t help but wonder; were these Gentile believers in Corinth aware of their heritage? For they had been saved out of pagan idolatry and perhaps were altogether unaware of God’s dealings with the Israelites.
Whether they were familiar with the Jews’ past or not, Paul now ensures they are instructed in this all-important truth: for both the Jew and the Gentile, whether wandering in the wilderness or in life, Christ is the only rock of provision for spiritual food and spiritual drink unto salvation.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ, (10:1-3).
And from here, Paul seemingly goes on to deliver a crash course in their lineage and history; history that had been preserved for their instruction.
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved…11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, (10:6, 11).
And in all the don’ts and dos of living out their life of faith in Christ, Paul explains; temptation is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to end in sin. For every trial, test and temptation, God has been faithful to provide His Son, Our Way of Escape.
Consider Him, Our Way of Escape
- Our Way of Escape from evil cravings
- Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved, (10:6).
- Our Way of Escape from idolatry
- Do not be idolaters, as some of them were… (10:7).
- Our Way of Escape from immorality
- Nor let us act immorally… (10:8).
- Our Way of Escape from trying (opposing) the Lord
- Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did… (10:9).
- Our Way of Escape from grumbling
- Nor grumble, as some of them did… (10:10).
- Our Way of Escape from pride
- Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall, (10:12).
- Our Way of Escape from disunity
- Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread, (10:17).
- Our Way of Escape from infidelity
- You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? (10:21-22).
- Our Way of Escape from self-indulgence
- All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor, (10:23-24).
How do we respond to Him, Our Way of Escape?
Our response is perfectly laid out for us by Paul. To sum it up, God has faithfully provided our response to Him, Our Way of Escape, through His two greatest commandments:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets,” (Matthew 22:36-40).
- As we love Him with all that we are, He is Our Way of Escape
- Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, (10:31).
- As we love others as ourselves, He is Our Way of Escape
- just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved, (10:33).
If we will but love like Him, won’t all the don’ts (evil cravings, idolatry, immorality, oppositions, grumblings, pride, disunity, infidelity self-indulgences) be abandoned?
Today let’s choose to focus on what we can do: Love Him and Love others. As we do we will be strengthened, not in and of ourselves, but in Him, Our Way of Escape; for He is faithful!
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one, (1 Thessalonians 3:3).