I Corin. 10: 5 5 Yet after all this, God was not pleased with most of them, and he destroyed them in the wilderness.
6 These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did 7 or worship idols as some of them did. For the Scriptures say, "The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged themselves in pagan revelry." 8 And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. 9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don't grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them. 11 All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close. 12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 13 But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols."
I'm really enjoying the NLT of I Corinthians- Paul is so good and God's Word is so powerful.
This is a great passage. The OT is a reminder to us of God's nature and a warning to us on how to displease the Lord. Even after the people experienced His miracles, in the end, God was not pleased with the people and ended up destroying them.
Why? Because we constantly run to idols-maybe not the wooden ones- but we have them all around.
They are represented in our cravings -
Amos 8: 5" You can't wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless." The parallel is that we get restless in the things of God and crave worldly things.
They are represented in our grumblings-
Idols tend to make us spoiled and ungrateful.
Next time in worship ask yourself- what does my mind stray to? Is it sexual desires. or leisure, or work. or worries- Sad to say, I think a lot about football- I need to cast those out- all things must be in subjection to Christ.
By the way- the worst state is pride- if you say " I have no idols"- then you are risking the greatest loss of all- Pride prevents the true cure- the blood of Jesus from covering your idol worship.
So- I have idols- I need to throw them down and flee from my cravings and grumbling- I need to lean on Jesus to help me in my idol worship and my only hope is His great mercy and forgiveness.
God is faithful!