Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Introduction to The Death of JI Packer +

    INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ___ to John Owen's The Death Of Death in the Death of Christ ___ By J.I. Packer _________ Read More
  • An Interview with Os Guiness on the 25th Anniversary of Francis Schaeffer's Death-Justin Taylor, 2009 +

    Next week (May 15) will be the 25th anniversary of the death of Francis Schaeffer, who died in his home Read More
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Don  Carson;1+samuel+30;psalm+47

FIRST CORINTHIANS 10 INCLUDES several passages worthy of prolonged meditation.

But today we reflect on a passage which, superficially speaking, is one of the easiest of them.

Paul tells the Corinthians that the things that happened to "our forefathers" (1 Cor. 10:1) that are recorded in Scripture "occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did" (1 Cor. 10:6). After giving some examples, the apostle again says, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come" (1 Cor. 10:11).

(1) It is important to observe the diversity of purposes the Scriptures have. Elsewhere we learn, for instance, that the Old Testament Scriptures, or parts of them, were given to make sin appear as the awful thing it is, nothing less than trangression; to prepare the way for Christ, not only by prophetic words but also by models, patterns, and "types" that anticipated what Christ would be like; to announce the time when God would take definitive action on behalf of his people; to warn against sin and judgment; and much more. But here, the Bible provides us with examples to keep us from pursuing evil things. That means that although the Old Testament narratives doubtless offer more than "mere" moral lessons, they do not offer less. While we seek out the complex layers of inner-canonical connection, we must not overlook the moral instruction that lies on the very surface of the text.

(2) The gross sins that Paul lists by way of example—idolatry, sexual immorality, "testing" the Lord (i.e., by doubting his goodness or ability, as in Ex. 17:2), and grumbling (10:7–10)—are not unknown among contemporary believers.

(3) According to Paul, God's intention was that the writing down of these materials in Scripture was so that we should benefit from it—the "we" referring to those "on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come" (1 Cor. 10:11). Doubtless this should not be taken as an exhaustive statement of God's intention, but it is certainly meant to be a foundational one. Thus from God's perspective, the Old Testament books were not meant simply for those who read them when they were first written, but for "us" who live at this formidable moment in world history when the first installment of the promises of the ages is being experienced.

(4) Implicitly, it is all the more shocking if we who have received so much instruction and warning from ages past ignore the wealth of privilege that is ours. In our blindness we sometimes marvel at how some Old Testament figures or groups could so quickly abandon the godly heritage and covenant they received. How much worse if we do so!

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson +

    Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book gets its name from Revelation 10:9-10 when John asks for the scroll containing God’s Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Separated Unto the Holy Ghost (Andrew Murray) +

    Below is chapter 3 from the book, Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African "Now there were in the Read More
  • The Human Body and Spiritual Growth: Dallas Willard +

    In Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation, edited by James Wilhoit of Wheaton College. "Spiritual formation" is the process through Read More
  • January 28 Devotional: Oswald Chambers +

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14 Read More
  • Coupla Things by Julie Moore +

    It has occurred to me that maybe more people would read my blog if the posts were shorter. I'm not Read More
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