Tuesday, October 6, 2009


One thing that people can't say about the Bible is that it is boring. Okay, people CAN say that, but if they do it is usually a good indication that they haven't really read it. No other book (that I've read) can take one pericope and in it include a history lesson, an encouragement, practical advice and supernatural promise.

Paul writes to the Corinthians about the past sins of the Israelites (1 Cor 10:1-13). He first affirms that the stories of the Israelites in the OT are true - they really happened, they aren't just myth or metaphor. Their status as historical fact does not take away from their value as lessons or examples for the people of Paul's day (and ours). In fact, they added to the practicality of the example. These were real people who responded in real ways. They weren't just made-up examples.

Paul parlays this idea into some practical teaching of his own. He warns his audience not to get too comfortable in where they are, not to become complacent or assumptive. Once you assume that you have something figured out, pinned down or conquered, that is when you are most vulnerable. If we assume that we can handle something, then we probably can't. If we think we've beaten something, then it has already beaten us. If we stop working on getting better, we are already getting worse. Our enemy is relentless and our task is of utmost importance.

When the battle seems un-winnable, Paul delivers the best, most practical, yet most supernatural piece of information. God only lets us get what we can take. He won't let us be overwhelmed. He won't let us find ourselves in an impossible situation. Instead, he'll provide a way out, a means for us to stand up, a way to conquer.

Too bad we still try to do it alone. Too bad we don't listen.

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