Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Thoughts for Today:The reference Paul makes to -- "setting our hearts on evil things as they did" -- is from Numbers 11. The sin is lust -- and occurs when we want something more or different than what God has given us. The Israelites were dissatisfied with the manna that was supernaturally supplied from heaven -- they wanted meat. So God said to Moses, "Give them meat." Moses' response was a lot like one of mine. He said (Numbers 11:21-22): "Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!' Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?" Moses offered the only two choices he could conceive -- meat from their flocks and herds or fish from the sea -- neither would be enough to satisfy their needs for long. He failed to understand that God had a much bigger plan than any he could imagine. Soon the Lord provided so much meat, they could eat no more.
In our passage today, Paul continues to use the Israelites as an example to Corinthian believers. Their experiences while wandering in the desert were not just historical events, but also practical illustrations for us to learn from today. Bible stories of how people related to God in Scripture (and the associated positive or negative results) are there for our own edification. We don't need to go out on some uncharted and exploratory path to find God. The whole process can be greatly simplified by just believing in the Word of God and the experience of those who have gone before us.
Questions to Ponder:Do you need to go your own way or blaze your own trail? The Lord has given mankind an instruction manual for eternal life. Is it really necessary to prove by negative or positive experience each of its statutes? I don't need to. What about you? Will you learn and apply its principles?