1 Corinthians 10:5 “…with most of them God was not well pleased…”
The chapter begins with Paul showing that all of the Israelites of Moses’s time were privileged the same. All were given the same opportunity to follow God. But many did not. Even with great privilege, they chose to follow their own desires and rejected God.
6 “…these things became our examples…”
We are just as blessed as they were. We must be diligent so that we don’t fall into the same trap as they. We must never think we are too knowledgeable, too smart, or that we are stronger than they. Pride knows no boundary of intelligence or knowledge.
11 “…upon whom the ends of the ages have come”
Commentary suggests Paul was referring to the present dispensation as being the last one, the culmination of all those which had come before, until Christ returns. I can see that. He is making the point that we have been able to see all that has gone before, therefore we have great examples and knowledge that those who came before didn’t have. Now that Christ has come, we have the completion of all that was taught about Him before. So, yes, we are in the final stage. I also wonder if some of Paul’s impression that Christ was going to return soon is included here as well.
12 “…let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”
Don’t let pride get a foothold. Always be on guard against it.
13 “…who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…”
This verse is many times misquoted. It is used to say that God will not allow us to face trials or tribulations beyond what we can handle. Therefore, if we trust in Him, we won’t get to the point that we can’t endure whatever comes our way. But that is not what the verse says. It is speaking directly of temptation, not trial or tribulation. As a matter of fact, God never makes that promise to us, that we won’t face insurmountable trials. Many times we may do just that. And each time He wants us to fully trust Him regardless of the outcome. Yes, we may face things we can’t handle. Some things we will get through only by His assistance, and some things we may not get through at all. His martyrs through the ages can attest to that. But we can get through the temptations. We just have to flee them or otherwise look for the way of escape that He provides.
20 “…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons…”
I’ve heard this before, but wasn’t sure where it came from, that there may be actual demons behind the different idols that man worshipped through the ages. Certainly, all of them fall under the dominion of Satan, but as there appears to be a hierarchy among the spiritual forces, there may be specific demonic forces behind heathen religions. If man isn’t worshipping God, then he is worshipping Satan and those within his dominion. Paul warns them not to participate in anything that could be included in idol worship.
31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
23 – 33 has practical info and seems straightforward regarding situations which may cause some offense. But it gets a bit hairy when Paul speaks of conscience. Commentary suggests that he refers to the conscience of a weak brother as the one we should be focused upon. Our liberty would not be judged by the conscience of an unbeliever as he wouldn’t care one way or another. Any way you walk through that, he sums it up nicely with verse 31. Do all with the intent to bring glory to God.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.