Bible III, per. 4
May 16, 2010
Exegesis of 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Paul shows the Corinthians the way of God with Israel in the wilderness, as instruction with regard to His way with us, telling the Corinthians that the things which happened to them were types or figures which serve as patterns for us. This is an important principle, and one that should be clearly understood, in order to benefit from it. It is not Israel who is the figure, but what had happened to Israel, which shows God’s way with them. The events themselves happened to Israel and they were written for our instruction who find ourselves at the end of the ages. Corinth was a city of Achaia, situate on the isthmus, which joins Peloponnesus, now called the Morea, to the rest of Greece. Being so strategically in place for trade, the people of the city grew in riches, which led them into luxury, vulgarity, and all manner of corruptness. Corinth was a beautiful city, the center of pleasure for the whole empire, and it was devoted to two things. Those things were the pursuit of pleasure and wisdom. It was a Greek city, and its inhabitants loved to philosophize, and they were given to what Paul calls, “the wisdom of words.” So the two major forces that were active in this city, creating the atmosphere in which the Corinthian church had to live, were these: intellectualism and sensualism. In the city of Corinth there was a temple that was dedicated to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and part of the worship of the Greek goddess was the performance of certain religious ceremonies that involved sexual relationships; therefore, the priestesses of this temple were really prostitutes, and there were around 10,000 of them attached to the temple. The city was openly given over to the practices of self-indulgence. It was regarded as a normal, proper part of life and no one ever thought twice about it. The people here were continually confronted by the doctrines and ideas of men following the great philosophers. They were people given over to the love of wisdom. Yet even here Paul planted a church, mostly of heathen converts who he wrote this letter to from the city of Ephesus to correct various sins that they were guilty of, and to answer some questions that they had asked him. In order to discourage the Corinthians from participation with idolaters, and comfort in any sinful practices, he gives them the example of the Jews, the church under the Old Testament. They enjoyed great privileges, but, having been guilty of terrible grievances, they came under very distressing punishments. In these verses he brings up their privileges, which were basically the same as ours. Then he gives account of their wrong doings and their sins and punishment and plagues, which are provided as an example to us, a warning against similar sins, so we can avoid the similar punishments. The first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians captures the problems that they faced living in their time. To be ignorant means to be lacking in knowledge or training, unlearned, lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact, uninformed, or unaware. “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.” God Himself led the Israelites through the desert during their long exodus from Egypt. He took on the form of a pillar of fire, clearly visible at night, and a pillar of cloud during the day. Exodus 13:21 says “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” In Exodus 14:22 the Bible says “and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Then in Numbers 33:8, we are told that, “They left Pi Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the desert, and when...
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