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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
1 Corinthians 10

 

 

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Verses 1-14

Types and Analogies

1 Corinthians 10:1-14

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

By the way of introduction to this study upon "types and analogies," we wish to suggest several things, based upon the following statement, contained in 1 Corinthians 10:11 : "Now all these things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

1. The value of the Old Testament Scriptures to those who live today. A great many people seem to imagine that the New Testament alone is valuable for present-day believers. There is a verse of Scripture in Second Timothy which we need to consider. Here it is: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Our 11th verse says that various Old Testament writings were written for our admonition. The verse just quoted above, says they are written for our profit.

(1) The Old Testament, as well as the New, is profitable for doctrine. Some people say they do not like doctrine. The word means "teaching," and certainly we need to be taught in the things of God. The great doctrines of the Bible, which are vital to saints of all ages, are taught from Genesis to Revelation. We will never know God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, in the fullness of their Heavenly attributes, unless we see the unfolding of the Triune God in the earlier Books of the Bible.

(2) The Old Testament, as well as the New, is profitable for reproof. The Laws of God contained in the Old Testament Scriptures, still have a very vital message to the saints. They were written that we might have before us the Divine standard for righteousness. Whenever we fail to reach that standard in our daily walk, the Law brings us reproof, and drives us to Christ for redemption. Every chastening of God upon the saints of old is a reproof to us, lest we fall after the same example of unbelief.

(3) The Old Testament, as well as the New, is profitable for correction. God has written the Bible not only to show us our sins, but to show us how they may be overcome. He not only reproves us, but He corrects us. Close by this word "correction," is the next word:

(4) The Old Testament, as well as the New, is profitable for instruction in righteousness. The Bible not only reproves us and corrects, but it shows us how we may live in a righteousness acceptable unto God. First of all, the Word instructs us in the righteousness, which is by faith through the Blood of the Atonement. Second, It instructs us in righteousness in walk, and in life, which is possible to the Spirit-filled believer.

2. The value of the Old Testament in furnishing us unto all good works. There is so much in our life of service that is exampled throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. The great deeds and acts of faith set forth in the earlier Books of the Bible are a marvelous incentive to those of us who live today. Read Hebrews 11:1-40 on this line.

I. UNDER THE CLOUD AND THROUGH THE SEA (1 Corinthians 10:1-2 )

1. Our fathers, passing through the Red Sea, bespeak the Divine power of God. It was no easy matter, in fact, it was an impossible thing for an alarmed and undisciplined people to march out from the midst of a great people fully equipped for war. God made this possible by a miraculous sending of ten judgments upon the Egyptians. After these, Pharaoh was willing to let Israel go.

However, when the multitude, under Moses' leadership, had reached the Red Sea, they were alarmed, as they saw themselves hedged in by the water on the one side, the hills on the other side, with the armies of Pharaoh approaching them from the rear.

When they cried out, the Lord said unto them: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you to day * *. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

Thus it was that they walked through the sea upon dry land. Behind them the clouds shadowed them against Pharaoh's horses and chariots.

2. Our fathers passing through the Red Sea, bespeak unto us the time when we came out of the world to walk with our Lord. There was a mighty power displayed towards us, as there was towards Israel. Christ died to save us from this present evil world. He said, in His last prayer, "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world." The world does not easily give up the saints. The saint, nevertheless, has a faith which overcomes the world.

3. Israel baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, typifies our baptism, as the sign of our separation from the world and our entrance into a new life. Christians, therefore, should always be "other-worldly." They have a citizenship in Heaven, and they are strangers and pilgrims here.

II. EATING THE SPIRITUAL MEAT WHICH CAME FROM HEAVEN (1 Corinthians 10:3 )

1. The manna which came from Heaven was food for their bodies. We all know the story of how the Children of Israel, as they journeyed through the wilderness, cried out for food. There was a tremendous number of them; something like a million and a half of people.

There were women, there were children, and there were the aged. No man could see them hungry without being stirred. God, however, met their needs, and gave them abundance of food, and they did eat.

To us, all of this suggests that God will meet our temporal needs. Is it not written, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"? If God feeds the sparrow, and clothes the lily with its beauty, how much more will He feed and clothe us, children of the most High God?

2. The manna which came from Heaven was food for the spirit. Our verse says they "did all eat the same spiritual meat." Thus God Himself makes the manna a type of that hidden food with which He nourishes our spiritual life.

It was this which Christ suggested, when He said, "For the Bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world." Then said they unto Him, "Lord, evermore give us this Bread."

Beloved, Jesus Christ is still the "Bread of God," and the Bread which He gives is His flesh.

Do we not remember how Christ said, "Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you"? Beloved, the flesh of the Lord Jesus, as typified by the manna, is meat indeed, of which, if we eat thereof, we shall never hunger.

III. DRINKING THE SPIRITUAL DRINK (1 Corinthians 10:4 )

Our verse says, "[They] did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

1. We remember the thirst of the Children of Israel. They pitched in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Then it was that the people did chide Moses, tempting the Lord.

When Moses cried to the Lord, the Lord said, "Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink." In the Epistle of Peter it is written: "Behold, I lay in Sion a chief Corner Stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious." Yes, Christ is the Rock that was smitten for us.

2. We remember when the multitude were athirst in the days of Christ. This was on the last day of the feast. When Jesus saw them, He cried: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."

We are reminded again of how the woman of Samaria came to the well for water, and of how Jesus said unto her that if she would have asked of Him, He would have given her Living Water. Then the Lord said: "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the Water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of Water springing up into everlasting life."

On another occasion, Jesus said: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you." He also said: "My Blood is drink indeed." Thank God for the Water of Life. Thank God for the invitation to drink and be satisfied.

IV. A SAD CONDITION (1 Corinthians 10:5 )

Our text says, "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness."

1. Is God well pleased with us? When we think of the Children of Israel, and of their blessings, we are amazed that they should ever have grieved their Lord. Did God not lead them out of Egypt with a mighty hand? Did He not do marvelous things in their sight? "He divided the sea." "In the daytime also He led them with a cloud and all the night with a light of fire." "He clave the rocks in. the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths." HE "rained down manna upon them to eat." "He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea."

Yet, in spite of all of this, "They tempted God in their heart." "They turned back." They "limited the Holy One of Israel." They "kept not His Testimonies." They "dealt unfaithfully." "They were turned aside like a deceitful bow."

We wonder if today we are much better than they. Is the Church not walking, unmindful of the great things which God has done for them? Have we not forgotten Him, days without number? Have we not trusted in the arm of the flesh?

Do we not have in our midst those who hold to the doctrines of world-mixing? Do we not say that we are rich and increased with goods, whereas, in truth, we are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?

2. Will God overthrow us in the wilderness? The Children of Israel were overthrown. Out of six hundred thousand elders, who left Egypt with Moses, only two entered into Canaan. The bodies of the rest were all left in the wilderness.

Those events are surely written as types unto us. The God who refused to let Israel enter into Canaan, will refuse to let us who sin, as they sinned, enter into His Millennial rest.

V. GOD'S WARNINGS TO US (1 Corinthians 10:6 ; 1 Corinthians 10:11 )

1 Corinthians 10:6 says, "These things were our examples, to the intent we should not * * as they."

1 Corinthians 10:11 says, "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."

1. God uses Israel's failure as a warning to the Church, lest they fall after the same example of unbelief.

(1) In Hebrews 3:8 ,Hebrews 3:13 we read, "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation," and, "lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." God is telling us that we are in danger of doing what they did.

(2) In Hebrews 4:1 we read, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." God's method of dealing with the saints of today must, of necessity, be along the line of His dealing with Israel. If they failed, we may fail; if they entered not in, we may be unable to enter in.

(3) In Hebrews 4:11 we read, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." Remember that the "rest" spoken of is not Heaven, nor is it eternal life. The "rest" can be no other rest than the Millennial rest, when Christ shall dwell among men; and, seated upon David's throne, He shall judge the world in righteousness.

2. We dare not shift the typology which God set before the Corinthians. The word "examples" is the Greek word tupos, or types. How forceful is the language, "to the intent we should not." How forceful, also are the words in 1 Corinthians 10:11 , "written for our admonition." We must not cast aside this warning. We must, rather, be admonished there-by.

VI. THE SINS OF ISRAEL, WHICH ADMONISHES (1 Corinthians 10:6-10 )

1. They lusted after evil things. They longed for the onions and the garlic of Egypt. Shall we lust, as they also lusted? Shall we cry out that we loathe the Heavenly Manna, and that we are sick of the quails and the meat which God gives? Shall we turn again to the fleshpots from which we have been delivered? Shall we seek to satisfy ourselves by fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, and of the mind?

2. They were idolaters. They sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. This was the time when they made the golden calf, and worshiped it. Do we, of today, have any other gods before us? Do we fall down to worship at the shrine of human greatness and glory? is gold our god?

3. They were fornicators. Beloved, there is a fornication which is just as sadly wrong and vicious as was that of the fornication of Israel. This is the mixing of the church with the world. The prince of the world is the devil. Shall saints, therefore, seek to the world for their pleasure?

Alas! alas! we fear that in many places, it is impossible to tell whether the church is a worldly church, or whether the world has become a churchly world. The church and the world seem to have one ideal, one passion, one viewpoint.

4. They tempted Christ. In the Book of Hebrews, chapters 3 and 4, we read of how the Holy Spirit said, "When your fathers tempted Me."

Think you that saints who turn back from their fidelity to Christ, and long after the fleshpots of Egypt, do not tempt Christ? Is He pleased and satisfied with the way many of us live? Does He sanction our heart-yearnings for the world? Are there in Jesus Christ no pleasures that satisfy? Is there in Him no peace and no plenty?

VII. A WARNING AND ASSURANCE (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 )

1. The warning. In 1 Corinthians 10:12 it is written, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." It was self-confidence that became the stone over which Peter stumbled to his hurt. He said to Christ, "Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended."

Beloved, there are too many of us who are so certain of our spiritual life, that we even neglect prayer and Bible study, and every other grace given us to sustain the Christian life.

Christians should walk carefully, for danger is ever near. Their enemy, the devil, goes about seeking whom he may devour.

2. The assurance. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but 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."

The only one in danger of falling is the one who thinketh he standeth, and is, therefore, unaroused to the pitfalls and snares laid for his undoing.

The Christian, who realizes his own weakness, and who turns to God for help in the hour of his trial and testing, will always find a faithful God who is ready to strengthen and establish His trusting saint.

No matter how dark or rugged the path; no matter how many the foes, our God will permit nothing to befall us, without also making a way to escape. Let us, therefore, while we fear the foe and his effort to bewitch us, fly with all assurance into the arms of our faithful Lord.

3. The plea. 1 Corinthians 10:14 reads, "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."

1 Corinthians 10:13 by no means teaches that God's promise of aid and succor to the tempted, should lead the saint to be careless in where he walks, or in what he does. The Lord immediately says, "Flee from idolatry." We have no right, whatsoever, to expect God to help us when we refuse to walk with Him in the way. If we are found in His path, and will, and way, He will not suffer us to fall.

AN ILLUSTRATION

Lot and Abraham give us a contrast and fit the analogy of self-seeking the way to poverty and vice versa.

Those who are always choosing for themselves find out sooner or later that they make a poor choice. They seek well-watered land and often get the desert only. They look out for fountains of Living Water and sometimes receive only "broken cisterns." Selfishness never has reward. Lot found this out. Sacrifice always has its reward. Abraham found this out. It is better to let the Lord make a choice than for Lot to make a choice.

This is quite true, but how slow we are to learn it. Me, my and mine is too much with us. The career of Lot is significant. Behold the three steps in his declension:

1. "Lot chose" (Genesis 13:11 ).

2. "Lot * * pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Genesis 13:12 ).

3. "Lot sat in the gate of Sodom" (Genesis 19:1 ).

This reminds us very much of the 1st Psalm where walking, standing and sitting are the three postures of the man that is displeasing to God. Lot chose, he pitched and he sat. It is ever the way.

Abraham took the least and the last. He took what was left over but he had something left when Lot had everything lost. Sometimes the left over is the finest of the lot. It is better to take a left over from the hand of God than to look over and choose by the eye of man. You may be selfish and, get but you cannot be selfish and gain. You may think you are getting the best of it when lo, you are getting the worst of it If you have any doubt about it, ask Lot.

The Wonderful Word.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/1-corinthians-10.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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