Some feel that the Bible is just a giant list of don’ts or filled with chains of restriction. So, they blissfully close their ears to it thinking that life will be more fun without what they believe to be God’s “burdensome” rules. This is the equivalence of a student completing an assignment without reading the instructions provided by the teacher. Sure, the student probably enjoyed writing only 200 words when the assignment required 600, but the consequences will give them quite the rude awakening when the teacher grades their assignment. God is the teacher. We are the students. Why have to go through the pain of redoing an assignment when we could have followed the rules in the first place? In real life, truth be told, there is not always an option to redo. When two decide to have that one night stand, for example, they can’t undo conception. It would have been a lot easier follow the word of God and abstain from extramarital sex. This brings us to our key text coming out of I Corinthians 10:5 — 11 (KJV). The word of the Lord reads:
5 But with many of them (the Israelites) God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
In this text, Paul is writing the church at Corinth. He is reminding his readers of the stories of their forefathers — the Israelites in this case — and that they are examples from God on how believers should or should not conduct themselves. Paul shares with them the sins of the Israelites and the ensuing consequences. He wants the the church to realize that there is no need for them to suffer the same punishments endured by the Israelites, because they can simply follow their example.
The same applies to us. Let us not only hear or read the scriptures but also actively live our lives by them, because it is for our good. Beyond the story of Moses and the Israelites, the Bible is filled with stories of those who have gone before us: Adam and Eve, Jacob and Esau, Esther, Ruth, Sampson, and more. When we come upon certain situations that we are not sure how to handle we can look to these men and women of God, observe their actions and their consequences, and learn from them the best ways to avoid a problem or solve a problem. There is no need to fumble through life when God has provided us with His word as a manual.
Have a blessed day!
Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments: a collection of poetry and short stories available soon on Amazon.com. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To have your original poetry featured on Your Black Poets, click here.