Some people like to learn things themselves. Some like to learn from others. Just as being willing to try new things is a great disposition to have, having a strong willingness to learn from others is also wonderfully helpful. In fact, Proverbs 28:26 says “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Similarly, Proverbs 18:10 says “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” Finally Proverbs 19:20 says “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days.”
Long story short, we all do well to learn from others.
Paul knew this. He learned from Jesus after he got knocked off his “high horse.” Paul became lowly and began to learn from the Lord (that’s why his name changed from Saul to Paul). And it is from this mindset that Paul writes 1 Cor. 10. He wrote to the Corinthians about how we could all do well to learn from the EXAMPLE of the Israelites in the wilderness. You may say “I thought the Israelites didn’t do so well in the wilderness, why would we want to learn from them?” Easy – so we don’t “not do so well!” God wants us to build generation to generation, but the requires us to take heed from those that came before.
OK. So, the background is that God commissioned Moses to take God’s people to the promised land, but only TWO of them made it to the promised land. TWO. Not TWO out of three, or TWO out of four. TWO out of about 2.5 million. What an allegorical statement! How many people have passed away through the years with the nagging knowledge that they had not accomplished what they could have, that they had not reached their promised land? God had promised the Israelites the promised land; God had sworn it to them, but they didn’t make it by-and-large. God has made promises to every New Covenant believer as well. If you are born again, there are literally THOUSANDS of promises in God’s Word written for you to realize. God’s Word is always written for us to realize. God’s Words are meant to become worlds. Promises are meant for possession.
So, if you don’t want to miss the mark, if you don’t want to aim too low and end up short of your destiny, if you want to make sure that you conquer and occupy your promised land, let’s take a look at the Israelites. We all have a lot to learn:
“1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:1-12)
Verse 6 says “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.” One of the primary road blocks on the our path to promises is distraction. What happened to the Israelites happened as examples for us. So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. The Fear of the Lord is a good thing! God uses it to keep us on track. The fear of the Lord is the purest, most loving motivational force in the universe, and it is all for our good!
When Jesus comes, we will think it was quick. The enemy gets us so caught up in thinking we have all the time in the world. Speed is not our primary limiter to accessing the promised land, focus is. Death is the end of all men and the living should take this to heart so we don’t miss out on what God has called us to!
Rev 22:12 says “my reward is with me to give to every one according to his work.” Our work is to possess. To possess the promised land. To possess the land promised by God. To turn His Words into our Worlds. Two Israelites made it, the millions of others did not. Whose example will you follow?
More posts to come from Renee’s most recent sermon, Taking God at His Word!