Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Don't grumble

 This morning the Lord has been gently rebuking me from 1 Corinthians 10:10:

And don't grumble as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer.

The context is the apostle Paul's reflection on the history of Israel as a type of Christian experience.  The Israelites were (typologically) baptised at the Red Sea; they ate (typologically) spiritual food in the manna and drank (typologically) spiritual drink from the rock.  They were fully initiated, and fully provided for - "nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them,  since they were struck down in the wilderness."

In the context of Paul's argument in 1 Corinthians, the primary application is to avoid idolatry and immorality.  And yet in the midst of the warnings against idol worship and moral laxity is this verse about grumbling.  Don't grumble; the grumblers were destroyed.

But how can I avoid grumbling in circumstances like these?

Well, "God is faithful".  He will not allow more temptation than you can bear.  He will provide a way out (v 13) - not, to be sure, from the circumstances, but from the temptation to sin which comes with the circumstances.  The Israelites were in the wilderness, and no doubt felt they had plenty to complain about.  But their grumbling was their destruction.  Because in the midst of the wilderness, God was their faithful provider, if only they had opened their eyes to see it.  Sure, they wandered in a desert; but in that desert, the Rock followed them and provided them with drink - and that Rock was Christ.  An intriguing identification, which there is no need to explore here.  The point is that though I wander through a seemingly interminable lockdown, the Rock follows me; there is living water constantly on tap.

Stop grumbling, Daniel.  The Lord is at hand.

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