The Wilderness of Temptation: A Sermon on 1st Corinthians 10:1-13
Brethren, we gather here to be fortified against the trials and temptations of this mortal coil, seeking refuge in the Word of our God. I direct your thoughts today to the epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, specifically the 10th chapter, verses 1 through 13.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”
Take heed, dear souls! As the Israelites were led by Moses through a physical wilderness, so are we led by Christ through a spiritual wilderness fraught with manifold temptations.
“And let us not be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.”
We must not only abstain from fleshly lusts but also from the more subtle and no less damning sins of idolatry and pride. To think that we can escape the reach of divine retribution is a folly that may find us suffering as the Israelites did.
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Grumbling against God’s ordained trials exposes a heart ripe for the harvest of iniquity. God’s judgements against the Israelites serve as cautionary tales for our souls, admonishing us to walk circumspectly in a world teetering on the edge of eternity.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
In concluding, let no man boast of his own moral standing, for the soil of self-righteousness is where the seeds of sin take root. However, let not your hearts be burdened beyond measure. Our God is a faithful God. In every temptation, He provides an escape route, lest we buckle under its weight.
May these words engrave themselves upon your hearts, so that you may navigate the wilderness of this world under the guidance of that Rock, which is Christ our Lord. Amen.