SOAP Study - October 21, 2020

    10.21.20 | by Jon McCoy


    1 Corinthians 10:1-13

    10 I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters,[a] about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

    These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”[b] And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.

    Nor should we put Christ[c] to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. 11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

    12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    Paul’s focus expands to include idolatry and immorality. While addressing the Corinthians, Paul retells the story of the exodus and connects the Gentiles to the historical experiences of the Israelites. He emphasizes their unity and similarity by referring to “our ancestors.” Paul reminds them of the slippery slope from casual consumption of food sacrificed to idols to idolatry and immorality. Paul moves from a discussion of strength and standing firm to a warning regarding temptations.

    Outwardly, there appeared to be so many similarities among the Israelites. Paul notes that ‘our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.’ Finally, Paul notes that ‘God was not pleased with most of them.’ In spite of so many similarities and such geographic proximity, God was not pleased with most of them.’


    Temptation is a pervasive theme throughout the Old and New Testaments. For individuals and for the community, there are struggles with various temptations that all seem to originate from the desire to please ourselves rather than follow God. Paul informs the listeners that the experiences of ‘our ancestors’ are intended to serve as examples and warnings for us. Although the widespread disobedience and personal indulgences may seem unavoidable, Paul offers hope that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength to resist.

    Temptation is extremely personal. Some temptations that may lead one personal along a path of certain destruction will not even be recognized by others. In 1 Corinthians Paul speaks about personal responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of others. Paul acknowledges that some people may be able to eat foods that are prohibited without any negative spiritual consequences. However, others may turn away from God once they begin pursuing personal indulgences. Paul encourages believers to be sensitive to the struggles of others who are attempting to resist temptations. The lessons and warnings about the experiences of the Israelites also refer to the sustaining faith of God to provide the way out of temptation. Sometimes we have to simply remember the lessons. Other times we have to remind others of these important lessons.


    O Lord, when we are tempted to please ourselves rather than following You, renew our strength and enable us to stand. Teach us the lessons of perseverance and lead us to share those lessons with others. As we stand and as we share, we pray that You will be glorified. Amen.