Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul makes an understatement of epic proportions. How so? Because of the over three million Jews who left Egypt, only two (of the original group) entered the promised land -- Joshua and Caleb. Exodus 32:9-10: "'I have seen these people,' the LORD said to Moses, 'and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.'" The Lord sent plagues (Numbers 11:33 and 16:47-49), an earthquake (Numbers 16:31-34), fire (Numbers 16:35), and serpents (Numbers 21:6). Eventually all those who rebelled against the Lord were destroyed.
I think this story illustrates that our success is not guaranteed even if we participate in the provision of God through His miracles. Despite His blessing upon them, a whole generation of Israelites were destroyed because of their unbelief. Hebrews 3:17-19: "And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief." In the same way, the Corinthian believer's needed to be careful that practicing their liberty did not lead them out of faithfulness and back to unbelief. The consequences of doing so would not be pleasant.
Questions to Ponder:Sometimes it's hard to imagine how the Israelites, who had such great demonstrations of the power and nature of God, would turn back to unbelief. The same can be true of us as well. We need to protect our minds from the deception of Satan. Have you been spending regular time in prayer, study, and fellowship? Is God pleased with your faithfulness?